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Causes, symptoms and treatment for a blocked nose

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Blocked nose

Nasal congestion - that 'bunged up' feeling often accompanies a cold

An introduction from Dr. Jen Tan

An important function of the nose is to purify inhaled air. The nasal passageways are lined with tissue known as a mucous membrane - this produces a slimy secretion (mucus) with the purpose of keeping the nasal passages moist. 

Fine vibrating hairs called cilia are present whose function is to trap dirt particles entering the nose. They clean around 10,000 litres of inhaled air a day and minimise the amount of inhaled bacteria. This is why it’s important to breathe through your nose as much as possible.

Causes of a blocked nose / nasal congestion

There’s no mistaking that bunged up feeling that so often accompanies a cold, when your head feels as if it is ready to burst. The nasal passages are lined with mucous membranes that produce a slimy secretion (mucous) to keep the passageways moist and to help stop bugs and dirt from entering the nose.

If you are suffering from a cold and your nose is running constantly, the mucous membranes will become swollen and inflamed leading to a blocked nose or nasal congestion. When inflammation occurs, mucous secretion becomes viscous and production is increased, causing blockage. 

Symptoms of a blocked nose

A blocked nose or nasal congestion is when you wake up with catarrh dripping down the back of your throat, you find it difficult to breathe quietly, you are unable to exercise without struggling for breath and you feel as if you are always clearing your throat. 

Tips to help make breathing through the nose easier

  • Dairy products should be avoided or their intake reduced as they promote mucous production. Products such as buttermilk, cream cheese and yoghurt are the exception
  • Include foods in your diet that are rich in vitamins and minerals and avoid eating heavy meals at night
  • Vitamin C is especially important for extra resistance, as is sufficient rest, sleep and relaxation
  • Avoid very cold drinks as they can encourage the formation and retention of phlegm
  • Reduce exposure to cigarette smoke and household chemicals
  • Use steam inhalation to help loosen mucous
  • Use Echinaforce® to help fight colds and flu by strengthening the immune system.

Blocked nose remedies

Treatment is usually in the form of nasal decongestant sprays that are sprayed directly into the nostrils. Sinuforce Nasal Spray is a herbal remedy with menthol which can be used for the rapid relief of a blocked or congested nose. It reduces swelling of the nasal mucous membrane, without affecting its natural protective function.

"This product really helped me with a stuffy blocked nose, it cleared my nose straight away brilliant."

The 100% natural ingredients soothe the nasal mucous membrane. It also contains peppermint and eucalyptus oil to ease breathing and chamomile oil that has a soothing effect on the nose.


Most colds cause a stuffy or ‘bunged up’ nose which clears quite quickly. However, if the sinuses do become inflamed, other symptoms can develop such as a throbbing pain and pressure in the face, which is made worse by bending forwards.This is known as sinusitis, a common condition affecting 30% of the population at some time.

How Echinacea helps

Echinacea is a traditional herb known to aid the body in its fight against the symptoms of cold and flu. Supplements like Echinaforce help increase the body’s resistance to infection by strengthening the immune system, allowing the body to fight the misery of colds and flu.

Leave your feedback

I would love to hear what you thought of the information you have read on this page. Just leave your comment below, thanks Dr. Jen Tan

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