Caring for your nose

A blocked nose, aka nasal congestion, can be enough to make your eyes water.

The trouble with blocked noses is that their exact cause can be difficult to pinpoint. A stuffy or blocked nose may be caused by hay fever or by a cold or even some other problem like sinusitis.

Achoo, bless you!

Blowing out mucus built up in a blocked nose can help to make breathing a lot easier since mucus can be a cause for nasal obstruction. This is particularly important in infants. So using a fine preservative free nasal saline mist spray not only helps to thin mucus, but may induce a sneeze – probably the most effective method of clearing mucus out of the way. Nose blowing also helps to stop mucus running down the back of the throat, which  may result in throat irritation and on some occasions develop into a cough.

Blow gently

When blowing, blow out mucus gently, and one nostril at a time. There is some evidence to suggest that if the nose is blown too hard and too often it may generate high enough pressure to cause some damage. However, in these cases, there may be underlying issues like chronic sinusitis or an existing weakness in the nasal structure. It still pays to be careful and not blow too hard.

Unblocking the block

Decongestants, such as a preservative-free nasal decongestant spray may be useful if the nose is completely blocked. Flo Rapid Relief is one such nasal decongestant. It helps by narrowing dilated blood vessels in the inflamed lining of the nose, and decreasing the volume of mucus produced. Nasal decongestants should only be used short term so if the nose is still blocked for longer than 3 days, please talk to your local pharmacist or healthcare professional.

 Wash ‘n’ go!

Preservative-free aline washes and nose sprays like Flo Sinus Care and Flo Saline Plus may also temporarily relieve and reduce nasal congestion because they wash and thin excess mucus and also help to remove irritants, viruses and pollen which can cause inflammation and lead to nasal congestion. Saline washes are preferable for a deeper cleanse and may help reduce sinus congestion and relieve some of pressure of congestion build up, whereas a nasal saline spray may be more useful when out and about to quickly clear the nose.

Oiling the machine

The nose may become dry and irritated for a number of reasons such as after a cold, in air conditioned environments, on planes or after nasal surgery. Sometimes tissues lining the nose get damaged i.e. dry and crusty. A sesame seed based nasal oil such as Flo Nozoil Spray helps to protect the nose as it acts as a wet bandage and its moisturising effects can provide some longer lasting relief.

Sources:

  • University of Queensland. Health Check. What’s the right way to blow your nose? 
  • A randomized, single-blinded cross-over trial of sesame oil (Nozoil) for the treatment of nasal symptoms associated with CPAP. Feenstra J et al. Sleep Disorders Centre, Dept of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, QLD.
  • A randomized cross-over trial of inhaled nasal sesame oil (Nozoil) versus heated humidification versus placebo for the treatment of nasal congestion associated with CPAP. Rixon K, Tang T and Hukins C. Sleep Disorders Centre, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba QLD.