4 Ways to Treat a Stuffy Nose

Winter knock you off your game? You're not the only one. Thankfully, your favorite M.D., Dr. Lodge, is on the case.

There's no secret formula, so you'll need to try treatments one at a time to see what works for you. Use this primer on some common decloggers; as always, read labels for directions and side effect information.

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They fight histamines, chemicals that cause congestion and stuffiness during an allergy attack. Older ones such as Benadryl may make you sleepy, so look for newer formulas marked nondrowsy.


Oral decongestants with pseudoephedrine work to clear you up by shrinking swollen nasal tissues, but they could make you jittery. Nasal sprays are great for occasional relief, but they lose effectiveness with prolonged use.

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Nasal Irrigation

Neti pots and the like can help literally wash out congestion. Saline sprays moisture nasal passages and ease inflammation to relieve stuffiness. Both can be used in tandem with most over-the-counter or Rx meds, too.

Natural Cures

Sprays with capsaicin, the stuff that makes chiles spicy, may clear congestion, but there's not a ton of research to back this up. I say: Natural treatments may work, but use them carefully—too much of anything can hurt you.


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