10 Ways to Unstuff Your Nose Naturally

Updated on April 5, 2017
The top 10 ways to naturally clear a stuffy nose.
The top 10 ways to naturally clear a stuffy nose.

How to Unstuff a Blocked-Up Nose Without Medicine

Normally I am a pretty healthy person—I get sick very rarely. But any of us can wake up with an uncomfortable, stuffed nose and sore throat. Just this morning, I woke up and found I could not breathe out of my left nostril, and to make matters worse, my throat hurt, too. I found that blowing my nose only made my stuffiness worse and increased my discomfort.

Perhaps I caught something when I delivered cupcakes across the street last night; maybe my allergies were acting up (here in Connecticut, trees can wreak havoc on one's sinuses). Whatever the reason, when I get a stuffy nose, I want to get rid of it ASAP and move on with what I have to do that day—which is why I've found and tested several remedies throughout the years.

Though I hate having a sore throat and stuffy nose, taking medication is not my first course of action. Usually one of my home remedies takes care of the problem. Because of today's runny nose, I decided I would share my home remedies in this article. In most cases, one or a combination of these practices works for me.

All of these at home tactics will help to clear out your nasal passageways. Not only will you be able to breathe better, but you will be clear-headed so you can have a productive day ahead.

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1. Gargle Your Nose With Salt Walter to Help Alleviate Stuffiness

Salt water can help unclog your nose.
Salt water can help unclog your nose.

Doing a salt-water nose gargle is very simple. Just fill up a small cup with warm water and a pinch of salt. Close one nostril and snort the salt water with the other nostril. Then simply blow your nose.

Incidentally, along with salt water, you can also use Listerine for a nose gargle. If you have the beginnings of a sore throat, as I did this morning, Listerine can do wonders.

Of course, this technique is very difficult to use on little ones. As the mother of a two-year-old, I know how often children's noses can get stuffed, but their noses are so small that it's hard to clear them out.

2. Use a Neti Pot to Clear Your Nose

Neti pots are much less intimidating than they seem.
Neti pots are much less intimidating than they seem.

I know I have already mentioned a salt water gargle as a way of clearing your sinuses. The gargle is simple because you probably already have all of the necessary supplies. However, the neti pot is the nicer way of doing a salt water gargle—if you can, I recommend using a neti pot over a mug. Simply fill the neti pot with salt water and pour it into one nostril while tilting your head to the opposite side. These neti pots come with "saline solution," that you pour into water to use in your pot. However, "saline solution" is another word for salt, so once you run out of the solution, you can simply use about one teaspoon of sea salt.

Below, I have included a video to show you exactly how to use a neti pot. It's not as scary as it looks. It does wonders for your health, so it's something you should learn.

3. Use Mouthwash When You Think a Cold Is Starting

I prefer the original Listerine (second from the left) because it is much less sweet than the other varieties.
I prefer the original Listerine (second from the left) because it is much less sweet than the other varieties. | Source

While I am focusing on how to clear a stuffy nose in this article, sometimes sinuses come hand-in-hand with a sore throat. Maybe you have experienced this, too. When your sinuses flare up, does your throat begin to feel itchy and scratchy?

Well, my first home remedy for this is to get the Listerine out of the medicine cabinet. This stuff is not just for the plaque on your teeth (I have already mentioned how it can help with a runny nose). When you have a sore throat, gargle with Listerine, and it will make a huge difference in how you feel a few hours later.

If you don't already have mouthwash, I recommend the regular Listerine that comes in yellow. The blue one and other flavors are way too sugary—just my opinion.

4. Take a Hot Shower or Boil Water

A steaming hot shower can help clear your sinuses.
A steaming hot shower can help clear your sinuses.

The steam from a hot shower will help to clear out your nose. While this clearing effect can be temporary, it still can help the process of clearing your nasal passageways.

Alternatively, the steam from a pot of boiling water can help clear your nose. Just be careful not to get your face too close to the pot, because the steam can get quite hot and boiling water can splash. Start with your face over a foot away from the water, and adjust accordingly.

This can be easier than taking a hot shower, because you don't have to change your clothes.

5. Drink a Full Glass of Water

Drinking water is such an easy thing to do. Keep your body hydrated.
Drinking water is such an easy thing to do. Keep your body hydrated. | Source

One of the reasons your nose is stuffy is because of mucous buildup. Drinking ample water helps to thin out this mucus—just another way water helps your body. You always want to make sure you stay hydrated, especially when you are not feeling 100 percent.

6. Eat Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can help unblock a stuffy nose.
Spicy foods can help unblock a stuffy nose.

Spicy foods will often help drain the nose. Like the effect of steam, this effect may only be temporary, but will help lead to more lasting results. We make Indian food everyday, so I can easily add a serrano chili or cayenne pepper to make something extra spicy.

Try adding chilis to your cooking. If that's too much effort, you can easily order spicy Indian or Vietnamese dishes.

7. Lie on the Side That Is Unstuffed or Less Clogged

Lying to one side can help relieve a stuffy nose.
Lying to one side can help relieve a stuffy nose.

This can help relieve the pressure on the more stuffed side of your face. Lying on your side works especially well after nose gargling salt water or using a neti pot.

8. Massage Your Sinuses

Massaging your sinuses can help them drain.
Massaging your sinuses can help them drain.

Massaging your sinuses can help to break up the congestion. It works, just like any massage, by loosening things up.

Below is a video that walks you through exactly how to drain your sinuses using massage and pressure points.

9. Cut an Onion

Cutting an onion can help relieve sinuses.
Cutting an onion can help relieve sinuses.

This morning, an item on my to-do list was to make sauce. It required onions. This instantly unstuffed my nose. The strong smell of the onion not only made me cry, but also helped open up my nostrils.

10. Use a Humidifier While You Sleep to Add Moisture to the Air

We do this in our Connecticut home during the wintertime. A humidifier instantly puts moisture into the air, increasing the humidity (hence the name). Like drinking a glass of water, using a humidifier can help thin out the mucus in your nose and sinus areas, allowing you to breathe better and sleep more restfully.

Please Share Your Tips and Experiences Getting Rid of Stuffy Noses

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    • profile image

      Libby Johnson 24 hours ago

      Also if you don’t have a Neti Pot but have botttles of water take one of those water bottles fill it up half ay with water put the lid back on cut a circular hole on the bottle of the bottle put bottle to nose and squeeze. It works just like a Neti pot just take away the citrus flavor.

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      J anomounus 4 days ago

      Well we all have a reason to eat spicy Doritos

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      Emma 9 days ago

      I find that sitting up strate helps for a while then gets stuffed again help me please!

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      Dena 2 weeks ago

      My nose just won't unstuff

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 3 weeks ago from Australia

      I don't use a neti pot, instead, use a bowl as I can do both nostrils at the same time. This ensures you are not unblocking one and blocking the other. I wrote a hub on this technique with illustrations. Hope it helps your readers.

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      Dawn 5 weeks ago

      True, if you lay on the side that isn't stuffed, it is just gonna move to the clear side!!! Your still gonna have a stuffed nose!

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      Owen 5 weeks ago

      I swear when I sleep so that my clogged nostril is in above my other one the mucus just seems to move from one nostril to the other and I have to constantly switch sides. Tough to sleep like that,

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      Someone 5 weeks ago

      Laying on the side that isn't stuffed really work and I'm littary shocked that it worked so well!

    • newbizmau profile image

      Maurice Glaude 8 weeks ago from Mobile, AL

      I always start up my humidifier and put essential oils for a pleasant smell or use specific ones for my symptoms if I have any when the weather begins to get dryer, to prevent a cold. I never heard of using mouthwash at the first sign of a cold though. I normally just gargle with salt water because it's cleansing and healing. Mouthwash is easier to have on hand and convenient.

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      Aisha Muhdhar 4 months ago

      I've noticed that using anything minty helps clear your nose. It can be mint gum, a peppermint, or my own personal favorite, mint tea. Just make sure that the mint flavor of whatever you decide to use is strong. I prefer mint tea cause just the smell of it usually clears up my nose. It also helps soothe headaches.

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      Lillei 4 months ago

      So, I found that the hot water and glass of water works the best, thx for the advice!

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      Maria Gomez 4 months ago

      How to get rid of lice

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      Dank Memes. 5 months ago

      Marios remedy doesn't work

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      madison 5 months ago

      I am 11 years old and everyday I have to use nasal spray.

      I found out that I damaged my nose so I'm looking for a better way to get rid of my allergy.

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      Nizamuddin 5 months ago

      I heard that breathing from one side of your nose, remember that it’s a natural, automatic system working to keep you ‎smelling properly, and to make sure your nose doesn’t get dried out by a constant onslaught of dirty air. ‎

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      Paul 5 months ago

      3 way to clear a blocked nose with eucalyptus

      1.) to clear a blocked nose use eucalyptus spray

      2.) make a eucalyptus tea by Crush some fresh eucalyptus leaves and put them in a pot of water then boil them for 50 seconds then simmer it for 1 minute then let it cool with the eucalyptus leaves in it then drink it very slowly ps do not eat the eucalyptus leaves throw them out

      3.) put some Crush fresh eucalyptus leaves in a pot boil them for 50 seconds them let them come to room temperature then breathe it in with deep breath through the nose slowly not to fast it may hurt the nose

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      Person 6 months ago

      Y'all need to put the coke down lol

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      Tammy 6 months ago

      A few weeks ago, i had a sinuses real bad, it went away, but after it went away, i notice my sinuses draining, and i started this snorting thing with it, drainage is gone but the snorting type thing is still there how can i stop doing this

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      Mario 6 months ago

      Put small amount of Himalayan salt in your mouth and just keep it there until dissolved. Do not swallow. It will almost instantly unblocked your nose due to allergies.

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      Dianarose i 8 months ago

      I am 11

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      cool 10 months ago

      i am a kid 9 years old but anyway thank you so much Dave that worked so well

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      Xiomara 11 months ago

      I can't even start on how long I have had this stuffy nose. At night it is the worst and the only way to breath through my mouth which then in the morning gives me a sore throat. I tried the Nettie pot and it worked wonders just like you said!!! I have to admit that is was a little scary because I never used one before. Anyway i just wanted to say thank you so much for making this page.

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      OW4L 12 months ago

      I have both my nostrils stuffed up but only when I change my body posision, if I stay still it clears. who can I get it clear? When I blow my nose it just gets worse...

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      Dave 12 months ago

      What works for me is twist some tissue up at the corner, then push it in and out of my nose as far as it will go. Eventually it will make me sneeze and the stuffed nose become runny.

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      It works 12 months ago

      Ok so I stuck my finger in my nose and I just shook it. It cleared up about half of the clogged side.

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      pleeeease 12 months ago


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      someone 13 months ago

      Tasha it really worked thanks

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      Amy 14 months ago

      I am 12 have blocked nose for a nearly 2 days and when I lay down it makes my noes blocked and when I stand it's unboxed I think I have a cold when I have a runny nose a tickle cough

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      Lofa 16 months ago

      breath in 3 times and on the out hale pinch your nose hold your breath as long as you can do it atleast 5 times If that doesn 't work take a shower it will unclog your nose for about 30 min Do 10 push ups Nasal Strips Drink alot's of fluids Eat spicy foods Like Red peppers Anything hot in your house Take any kind of allergy medicine Nasal Spray

      The best thing you can do is go to your nearest Store and ask for Nasal strips put them on your cheeks it should clear up in 1 min if it doesn't wait 10 min then you should be cleared for the reast of the day

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      matt meister 17 months ago

      what i do is a put bit of salt in your nose it reallly helps

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      Mimi 17 months ago

      I have stuffed nose all the time due to allergy and mild deviated septum . What helps me is ocean saline nasal spray - use it 3 or more times daily . It's purely natural so there is no rebound affect ! It was recommended by ENT Doctor ! I also put real hot water in a bowl , soak a wash cloth and put it over the bridge of my nose on my face . Do this several times to loosen the blockage up . At night I use Vicks waterless vaporizer and mine came with 5 menthol vapors pads- using all those works wonders for me . Hope this helps someone !

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      Rose 18 months ago

      Some ways to rid your stuffy nose and cough are to drink lemon tea with honey, the honey is a natural cough suppressant and sleep aid while lemon helps fight respiratory problems, take a hot shower and near the end slowly remove the hot water until it's a nice cool shower, both hot and cold showers had different perks to make your body more healthy! Also don't forget to frequently wash your hands, so you don't keep spreading germs everywhere. Vapourizing Ointment also helps if you just spread it on your chest, throat, and on your upper lip and around the holes of your nose to not only help clear your nasal but also help sooth the raw skin around your nose that you might get after blowing your nose a lot, which is something you should do, don't sniff it in because that just it makes the problem worse. I hope you guys get better soon!

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      Lucy Buehler 2 years ago

      This is a weird one but if you get scared/frightend during the day with a stuffed up nose it will almost instantly unclog itself.

    • Arc4life profile image

      Arc 4 Life 2 years ago from Florida

      Tori and Usman, did you guys use warm water?

    • Usmanbhatti profile image

      Usmanbhatti 2 years ago

      I tried the cup of water. It helps... But only for a second. I find sleeping on the opposite side of which the nose is clogged helped me the most.it is amazing......thanku

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      Tori 2 years ago

      I tried the cup of water. It helps... But only for a second. I find sleeping on the opposite side of which the nose is clogged helped me the most.

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      Amin 2 years ago

      it is amazing......thanku

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      Casey 2 years ago

      When it comes to night and morning, my nose starts to get


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      Tameka 2 years ago

      Everytime i leave home from being in da Air....And go outside in the Heat....i start sneezing n nose running....At night they both get stopped up....Tell me a Good Remedies

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      Logan Weldon 2 years ago

      When I usualy have stuffy noses is winter so when I get a stuffy nose in winter at school I go out side and run around for like 30-20 minutes and then my nose will not be stuffed this lasts like 1 hour and 30minutes.

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      Alexus ahner 2 years ago

      Drink lots of water and blow your nose a lot

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      Makia 2 years ago

      I'm 14 and I've had a stuffy nose for 2 weeks now.i am going to try this stuff and see if it really helps or works

    • beautyandremedy profile image

      Elnita Zahlie 2 years ago from Kingdom of Heaven

      Drinking more water at least 6 - 8 glasses, getting enough sleep and eating more foods containing vitamin C are the best home remedies for that condition.

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      Crystal 2 years ago

      I've had a cold for a while and I am trying to get rid of my stuffy nose. Going to try this stuff and see if it works.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great tips. I always end up with nasal or sinus congestion. This would save me money on Mucinex and other cold medicines.

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      PAS 3 years ago

      Doctors do squat when you see them about a blocked nose, unless it's infected, in which case you a prescription for antibiotics.

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      Kirsty 3 years ago

      I got allergy conjunctivitis and have stuffy and runny nose need help to get rid of the stuffy and runny nose really getting annoying now my nose is sore too and dry from where I blow and wipe the runny nose help!!!!

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      Someone 3 years ago

      It is 1 in the morning and i have a test tomorrow and i can't get sleep! I went to bed at 8:00 pm and i have been trying so hard to even lay down

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      Habibah Malik 3 years ago

      Which is the fastest way to open a blocked nose naturally??????

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      Ciara 3 years ago

      I've had a stuffy nose since Thursday night and it's really agrovating me! Someone tell me how to stop it I don't have the Neti pot or an onion.

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      Hannah 3 years ago

      Please help me with my stuffed up nose and my sore throat! My brother had a stuffed up nose for 3 days. I think I got it when I went to church without a coat on. I really need some advice for what to do. I don't take medication for my stuffed nose. So, if you could give me some help with this. Thank you so much.

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      Rose 3 years ago

      Im tired of my stuffed nose , its always around this time

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      blah03. 3 years ago

      i don't have a pot

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      Laderell 3 years ago

      Shower with hot water and eat like 10 halls cough drops....u should be good for the night

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      naydelin estrada 3 years ago

      I'm a 8 year old my nose is stuffed up and. Its not working its painful

      And I've been up till five and six of clock in the morning if any body has anythind to help me with let me know thanks:-) :-) :-)

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      Patricia 3 years ago

      I have a stuffy nose everyday! its so frustrating I went to the doctor and she prescribe Nasonex and Claritin D it help a little in 2 weeks I have an appointment with the ENT hopefully They have a cure for me I have this problem for over 7 years now and I am only 25.

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      MJ 3 years ago

      Doctors! see your doctors-

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      David Nurse 3 years ago

      I clean out my basement this morning and by evening my nose became stopped up on the left nostril I put some Rose oil on my mustash then I compress the tip of my cheek bones it hurt a little but about 3 minutes later I felt a movement I blew into a tissue and all that block up stuff came out. Now I am back to normal no stuffy nose Blessings.

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      Misha 3 years ago

      Like i have a stuffed up nose and i barely have the materials. U guys are suggestion i have that cold and cough its basically a tea u have to make but my nose stoped on one side of my nose which is the right and im tryna do everything to stay up or help my nose so i can go bak to sleep cause its kinda hard for me to breath that's why im up 2 sum in the morning PLEASE HELPPP U GUYS

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      Nathan perry 3 years ago

      I had this for almost three days now I and I need help my throat hurts and I can't sleep HELP

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      Anonymous 3 years ago

      I say u should try holding on the top of the unclogged nose and them blow out the clogged nose.It really helped for me.

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      Jonah 3 years ago

      Please help it's 3 am in the morning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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      Arc 4 Life 3 years ago from Florida

      Thanks Tina, for your advice.

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      TinaStyles2 3 years ago

      Drink one of them lemon cold and flu drink stuff they only cost about 1 dollar in the pharmacys amd believe me they work miracles if you take a sachet every 4 hours and theres about 4 or 5 sachets in 1 box so trust me if you have a stuffy nose then buy this

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      Ashley 3 years ago

      Try to take a Warm shower , and blow the nostril that is clogged & i have stuffy nose too smh. :(

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      domino 3 years ago

      I don't understand why you all don't take medication? I woke up with a sore throat, blocked nose and a cough, all I did was take two cold and flu tablets and I feel terrific. Not judgeing, just saying

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      ji 3 years ago

      i don't know what to do with a nose like this i can barely even breathe

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      Sierra 3 years ago

      I need help I don't how to get rid of a stuffy nose :(

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      Agnes 3 years ago

      Plz help I have had a cold for 3 days now and I have a blocked nose, I don't know how to get rid of it, I have tried Vic, Steam, tablets, olbas inhaler and nothing has worked. If anyone knows how to get rid of blocked noses plz tell me.

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      ddabs 3 years ago

      This is not helping vicks or enything hahahaha I'm about to freak. i was at mud bogs were there is a bunch of polin and dust!

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      isabelle 3 years ago

      I had a blocked nose for like three weeks and last night it was like I was dieing in my sleep someone pls help me I don't want to tAke tabs

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      bamagirlnikki 3 years ago

      I was fine until i cut an onion. i have cut them before and this has never happen I've always been fine but today i was making roast and i cut a onion and it made me cry very bad and my nose ran and i now have a sore throat. idk its never happen and i love onions now i feel like i have a cold i feel so bad has this ever happen to anyone else what can i do

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      Jessica 3 years ago

      Please help!!!! I need this nostril cleared in hopeing SECONDS if I don't clear my mom might get it and DIE! (Long story)

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      Taytum 3 years ago

      This is exactly what happened to me and I hope it works.

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      bawbluvzpie 3 years ago

      Ive had the same problem for two days. I'm sick, have a scratchy throat, and a stuffy nose. Anyone now how to fix it WITHOUT medicine

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      ZAcH 3 years ago

      Please help I need this stuff nose to go away

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      Yovanny 3 years ago

      iv had a stuffed nose for like 2 weeks now and I used Vicks vapor every night and it worked

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      tyler 3 years ago

      I'm 15 om allergic to about everything green can someone tell me the best allergy medicine

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      a certain person 3 years ago

      can someone help??? ive actually woke up with a blocked nose on one side and when i get up it clears but when i sit down or lay down on something it starts to block up one of the sides of my nostrils and i can't breath and i always get up at about 2:00 in the morning to look for something to help my nose and ive tried nostril sprays but they don't work and i blow my nose but its still blocked HELP!!!! pleaseeee!

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      David 3 years ago

      Tasha I tried that last night and it works after I read about it on hear from you thnk u

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      Tasha 3 years ago

      I had a stuffy nose for 1 week so I used Vicks vapor rub on my nose and I put a little bit of Vicks vapor rub on a piece of Kleenex and stuffed it in the one stopped up nostril this really helped me sleep