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A seasonal cold, allergies or even medication use can give you a stuffy nose. The National Institutes of Health explains that a stuffy nose is not caused by too much nasal secretion, as many people think. The reason you have trouble breathing is because the nose membranes are swollen. Medications and being aware of your surroundings can help you relieve swollen nasal membranes.
Relieve swollen nose membranes by using a decongestant nasal spray. The medication in the mist reduces inflammation in the nasal passages but can actually make you feel worse if you overuse the product. Use only according to the directions on the packaging for best results. Saline sprays without medication may provide some relief as well.
Remove yourself from irritants that may be giving you a stuffy nose. According to the American Academy of Otolarygology's Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) division, smoke, heavy perfumes, pollen, dust and pet hair are common irritants that cause the nose membranes to swell. Taking the allergens out of the equation can give you some relief.
Ask your doctor to check your thyroid function if your stuffy nose continues without relief. The AAO-HNS explains that low thyroid function can cause nasal membranes to expand; treatment of the problem can resolve the nasal stuffiness. A thyroid test is performed through a blood draw.
Discuss your medication use with your doctor. Some medications prescribed to control blood pressure may have rhinitis--the medical terms for the inflammation of the membranes in your nose--as a side effect. Switching to a different medication may help your stuffy nose.