What to do for stuffy nose allergies

Over-the-counter medications that work to shrink the blood vessels inside the nose can be effective.

What to do for stuffy nose allergies

Nasal decongestants such as Afrin (oxymetazoline) are commonly used.

Nasal decongestants that are commonly used on a longer-term basis (for chronic sinusitis or allergies) include corticosteroids such as Flonase or Nasonex.

Some medications work better for congestion caused by allergies than for congestion caused by a freezing. These include Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec or Benadryl.

What to do for stuffy nose allergies

These drugs are known as antihistamines because they block a chemical substance that is released in response to an allergic reaction called histamine.

Drugs that contain a medication called pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) are also effective for relieving a stuffy nose.

However, according to the U.S. Food and Drug istration (FDA), children under 2 years of age should not be given any helpful of cough and freezing product that contains a decongestant or antihistamine. The FDA warns that serious and possibly life-threatening side effects could happen including convulsions, rapid heart rates and death.

When giving cough or freezing medicine to children older than 2 years of age, the FDA suggests caution.

What to do for stuffy nose allergies

They also note that manufactures own voluntarily re-labeled cough and freezing products to state: “do not use in children under 4 years of age.”

Phenylephrine is an oral decongestant that is currently found in most over-the-counter cough and freezing medications. It is safe for numerous individuals to use but research as to its effectiveness has had mixed results. Some studies own shown it not to be extremely effective in treating congestion.

You should consult your doctor or pharmacist and inform them of any other medications you are currently taking, any known allergies you own, significant health conditions and whether or not you are pregnant or breastfeeding before starting any new medication even if it is sold over-the-counter.

Follow the directions included with the medication carefully.

What to do for stuffy nose allergies

Consult your pediatrician before giving any new medication to your baby or child.

Nasal Decongestants Overview and Side Effects

When to see a GP

Visit a GP if the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are disrupting your sleep, preventing you carrying out everyday activities, or adversely affecting your performance at work or school.

A diagnosis of allergic rhinitis will generally be based on your symptoms and any possible triggers you may own noticed.

If the cause of your condition is uncertain, you may be referred for allergy testing.

Find out more about diagnosing allergic rhinitis

Treating and preventing allergic rhinitis

It’s hard to completely avoid potential allergens, but you can take steps to reduce exposure to a specific allergen you know or suspect is triggering your allergic rhinitis.

What to do for stuffy nose allergies

This will assist improve your symptoms.

If your condition is mild, you can also assist reduce the symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications, such as non-sedating antihistamines, and by regularly rinsing your nasal passages with a salt water solution to hold your nose free of irritants.

See a GP for advice if you own tried taking these steps and they own not helped.

They may prescribe a stronger medication, such as a nasal spray containing corticosteroids.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis typically causes cold-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchiness and a blocked or runny nose.

What to do for stuffy nose allergies

These symptoms usually start soon after being exposed to an allergen.

Some people only get allergic rhinitis for a few months at a time because they’re sensitive to seasonal allergens, such as tree or grass pollen. Other people get allergic rhinitis every year round.

Most people with allergic rhinitis own mild symptoms that can be easily and effectively treated.

What to do for stuffy nose allergies

But for some people symptoms can be severe and persistent, causing sleep problems and interfering with everyday life.

The symptoms of allergic rhinitis occasionally improve with time, but this can take numerous years and it’s unlikely that the condition will vanish completely.

Non-Medication Treatments

There are some other things you can attempt before taking medication:

  1. Use a menthol cream on your chest (not recommended for little children or infants)
  2. Keep your head elevated
  3. Use over-the-counter adhesive strips that assist hold your nostrils open
  4. Try a neti pot
  5. Drink a lot of water
  6. Suck on a cough drop that has menthol in it
  7. Use a cool mist humidifier
  8. Use over-the-counter saline nasal sprays
  9. For infants, a bulb syringe can assist remove secretions

When To See a Doctor

Most of the time congestion will clear up in a week or so.

You should see a doctor, however, if:

  1. if you breathing rate becomes extremely fast
  2. you own a high fever
  3. if your skin or lips develop a bluish tint (a condition called cyanosis)
  4. you own noisy breathing
  5. your symptoms final longer than a couple of weeks
  6. your nasal passages become completely blocked
  7. you own difficulty breathing

Can Saline Sprays Assist Snoring and Congestion Related to Allergies?

Afrin should not be used longer than three days in a row to avoid a condition called rebound congestion, sometimes referred to as nasal spray addiction.

Do not use pseudoephedrine for longer than three days in a row as it can lead to rebound congestion.

While this medicine is available without a prescription, it is regulated and tracked by the U.S. government . The decongestant is typically kept inside the pharmacy or behind the counter and ID is required for purchase.

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Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen, such as pollen, dust, mould or flakes of skin from certain animals.

It’s a extremely common condition, estimated to affect around 1 in every 5 people in the UK.


A stuffy nose happens primarily because nasal tissues are inflamed. Often, this is caused by a common freezing virus or by various types of allergies. It can also be caused by hormonal changes during pregnancy or even induced by exercise.

Because infants do not know how to breathe out of their mouth, a stuffy nose can be fairly serious for them, but for the relax of us, it's generally just an annoyance that can interfere with our daily activities.

Which Type of Sinus Congestion Is Affecting You?

Sometimes children put things up their nose that can become lodged and cause congestion and similar or associated symptoms, this is called foreign object nasal obstruction.

Children also can get a stuffy nose from enlarged adenoids, which sometimes need to be surgically removed.

Among adults, structural abnormalities, such as a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates, can cause congestion-like symptoms. Structural problems can be inherited or the result of chronic problems such as allergies or sinusitis, or even be the result of an injury.

Why Do Sinus Infections Happen?

What causes allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is caused by the immune system reacting to an allergen as if it were harmful.

This results in cells releasing a number of chemicals that cause the inside layer of your nose (the mucous membrane) to become swollen and too much mucus to be produced.

Common allergens that cause allergic rhinitis include pollen (this type of allergic rhinitis is known as hay fever), as well as mould spores, home dust mites, and flakes of skin or droplets of urine or saliva from certain animals.

Find out more about the causes of allergic rhinitis


What to do for stuffy nose allergies