What you can try at home
In most cases, a blocked nose will clear within a few days without treatment once the body fights off the underlying infection. If you’ve got a virus, such as a cold or flu, your GP can’t offer you anything more than a pharmacist can provide. Antibiotics won’t help.
Over-the-counter decongestant medicines can help to relieve a blocked nose by reducing swollen blood vessels in your nose. Don’t use decongestants for more than five to seven days at a time. Using them for any longer can make your symptoms worse.
Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot (but not boiling) water may soften and loosen the build-up of mucus in your nose. Adding menthol crystals or eucalyptus oil to the water may ease your blocked nose and catarrh.
When to seek professional help
If symptoms persist seek professional help:
- Consult your pharmacist or
- See your GP or
- Check out Health A-Z for more information on treating nasal congestion.