ZocdocAnswersWhat's a safe way to eliminate excess mucous in the nose?

Question

What's a safe way to eliminate excess mucous in the nose?

I seem to have a stuffy nose all of the time without a cold or allergies. It isn't that bad but it is annoying. Any way to safely remove excess mucous? Should I use a nasal spray from the drug store or some kind of nasal rinse?

Answer

I would suggest that you go to see your primary care doctor about this. Any persistent or nagging symptom, such as chronically stuffy nose, should be evaluated by your doctor. This way you will know exactly what you are dealing with and what to do about it. I think it is very likely that you have nasal allergies. Nasal allergies (called allergic rhinitis) are very common, and they can occur even without other allergy symptoms, such as itchy eyes, sneezing, or cough. There may be sinus congestion as well, which is also on the allergy spectrum. Your doctor can examine your nose, throat, and ears and confirm a diagnosis of allergies or sinus congestion, as well as consider other alternative diagnoses. If you do end up having allergies, there are multiple medications and treatments that can be effective. You mention nasal saline sprays, and these can indeed be helpful, as can daily nasal irrigation using the Nettipot or a similar system. Addtionally, non sedating anti histamines, such as loratidine (Claritin) and cetirizine (Zyrtec) are often used. Finally, nasal steroid sprays, such as fluticasone (Flonase) or mometasone (Nasonex) are very helpful. Start by seeing your doctor, and they will help you decide on a treatment plan.

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