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Evaluate Your Sinus Congestion


Updated July 02, 2014

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Treating Sinus Congestion Without Medications

A variety of non-medication treatments are available to help relieve sinus congestion. Some of the best options include humidifiers, saline nasal sprays and saline nasal drops.


Humidifiers help keep moisture in the air and prevent nasal passages from drying out. They are especially effective in the winter. With heaters running, the air in our homes tends to dry out quickly, which in turn dries out nasal passages and makes it more difficult to breathe. Running a cool mist humidifier, especially while sleeping, will help reduce the risk of dried nasal passages and thick congested noses in the morning.

Saline nasal spray

Saline nasal spray used a few times a day can help loosen congestion and improve drainage. You should take caution not to overuse over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays (such as Afrin), though. Using them for longer than three to four days can actually increase congestion.

Neti Pot

Neti pots have been used for many years to rinse out the sinus cavities. There are several varieties available now in nearly any pharmacy or store that has a pharmaceutical section. Using a saline solution, you can use this device that looks like a miniature teapot for rinse the mucus out of your sinuses naturally, without taking medications.

Saline nose drops and bulb syringe (video)

Saline nose drops and the bulb syringe can be used in infants to pull out drainage or thick mucous from the nose. Infants breathe only through their noses, so it is important that the nasal passages remain open. This simple method is effective and does not cause harmful side effects like many medications do.

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