Some 50 million people in the US suffer from allergies, says the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI). Common allergens include pollen, pets, dust, mold, and grass. In addition to sneezing and itchy, watery eyes, the classic symptom of allergies is a stopped-up nose. How to get rid of a blocked nose? The simplest strategy is avoidance. If you know you have an allergy, stay away from your triggers or protect yourself by wearing a mask and taking showers after being outdoors, especially on dry, windy days.
Over-the-counter antihistamines, which work by blocking an immune system chemical called histamine that’s involved in allergic reactions, can help unstuff your nose, per the US National Library of Medicine (NLM). So can saline nasal rinses, says NLM. Make sure you use purified (aka distilled), filtered, or boiled water, or consider picking up an OTC saline spray or wash.
If nothing clears your stuffed-up, allergic nose, consider allergy shots. “It comes as close [as we have] to a cure for allergies,” Christopher Chang, MD, an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist in Warrenton, Virginia, tells Health.