Tips for a blocked or runny nose, whatever age!

How a blocked or runny nose can impact sleep

A blocked or runny nose can prevent us from getting a decent night’s sleep. And if a baby or young child in the family is suffering from a bothersome blocked or runny nose and can’t sleep through the night, then unfortunately mum, dad and siblings may also feel the impact.

Sleep should never be underestimated. It is vital in maintaining a healthy immunity, particularly during the cooler winter months, when we can be more vulnerable to viral infections. A congested nose can take many forms; blocked, runny, dry. Whichever form it takes,  it can be extremely frustrating and could be a symptom of a cold, hay fever, allergy or sinus congestion.

A blocked nose usually occurs because the membranes lining the nose become swollen from inflamed blood vessels. A runny nose is the body’s way of getting rid of any irritants or germs that might be irritating or inflaming it.

Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done and many products available from your local pharmacy that can help you breathe easier!

So what can adults and older children do for a blocked or runny nose?

A medicated nasal decongestant spray is one treatment that can help relieve either a blocked or runny nose. It does this by reducing inflammation in the nasal tissues.

For patients over 12 years of age who need fast relief, try using a preservative-free nasal decongestant spray e.g. Flo Rapid Relief. This can help unblock the nose very quickly. It’s important to note that any nasal decongestant spray should NOT be used for longer than 3 days. If symptoms still persist after 3 days, it’s time to have a chat with your Pharmacist or GP.

You may also find a saline nasal spray or sinus wash after using a nasal decongestant spray helps too. This can effectively flush away excess mucus, pollens and irritants which may still be present in the nasal and sinus cavities. Try Flo Saline Plus, Flo Nasal Mist or for a more thorough wash, you can try Flo Sinus Care.

If the blocked or runny nose is a result of hay fever or an allergy, then an antihistamine nasal spray might be more effective. Eze Allergy Nasal Spray can be used by adults and children from 5 years of age. Eze Allergy is designed to work in 15 minutes and lasts up to 12 hours. Unlike some medicated nasal sprays, e.g. nasal decongestant sprays, Eze Allergy can be used continuously for up to 6 months.

I’m pregnant and have a blocked nose. Is there anything I can use?

Nasal stuffiness during pregnancy can be very common too. Hormonal fluctuations and increased blood supply that occur during the months of pregnancy may cause this nasal congestion.

A sinus wash kit like Flo Sinus Care is a very popular choice in this situation. It is gentle, non-medicated but it can provide a very deep cleanse of the nasal and sinus tissues. Watch this short  video to see how it’s done.

What about babies and young children with blocked or runny noses?

If your child is experiencing a blocked or runny nose and it’s disrupting their sleep too, try a gentle, preservative-free saline nasal spray, like Flo Baby or Flo Kids. As babies tend to only breathe through their nose in their first few months, a clear nose is especially important. Bear in mind too, that a stuffy or blocked nose in the first few months of their life can interfere with breastfeeding, which can be distressing for both mum and baby.

Flo Baby or Kids salines are gentle enough for daily use and can be sprayed at any angle, even with your child lying down. For best results, use 3-4 times a day to help thin mucus and wash away irritants, germs and allergens that the mucus may contain. This enables easier breathing through their nose and as a result, breastfeeding and sleep may improve.

Other useful tips to know!

Inflammation in the nasal tissues from common cold viruses can last from 7-10 days and so use of preservative-free saline sprays or washes to help  cleanse the tissues should not be stopped too soon, but rather continued until the nasal congestion symptoms have stopped.

If the cause of persistent nasal congestion is due to allergies, then regular and correct use of allergy medication is recommended. If you or your child suffers from this condition, then please see your health professional  for advice on the various options available to help manage this.

Always read the label. Follow directions for use. If symptoms persist, worsen or change unexpectedly, see your health professional.