How to Get Rid of Nasal & Throat Congestion

The common cold and sinusitis may cause nasal and throat congestion. You may have trouble breathing through your nose and may find yourself clearing your throat a lot. This may lead to a headache or a sore throat. Treat mild symptoms of congestion with home remedies. Most of the time, your symptoms will go away within a week or so. If you have chronic sinusitis causing nasal and throat congestion for several weeks or if your congestion frequently recurs, you may have nasal polyps or another condition that requires medical treatment.

Relieve your nasal and throat congestion with warm fluids. (Image: mheim3011/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Drink extra fluids. Drink water, chicken soup, clear broth, juice and warm lemon water to loosen and flush away congestion. Chicken soup has the added benefit of possibly reducing inflammation.

Step 2

Keep your nasal passages moist. MedlinePlus suggests using a humidifier, inhaling the steam produced by a hot shower and using saline drops to help reduce nasal and sinus congestion.

Step 3

Mix 1/2 teaspoon salt into a glass of warm water and gargle to break up throat congestion and temporarily relieve soreness or scratchiness.

Step 4

Take an over-the-counter decongestant for up to three days. Do not use for longer than the recommended time period, because decongestants may cause more nasal swelling and further congestion.

Step 5

See your doctor for additional treatment if your symptoms last more than 10 days, if a cold gets worse after a week or if your congestion is accompanied by severe pain.

Things You'll Need

  • Humidifier

  • Saline drops

  • Salt

  • Over-the-counter medications


Do not take decongestants if you have either high blood pressure or an enlarged prostate unless you are under a physician's care.

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