Curing heavy nasal congestion can be done using home remedies or pharmaceutical medications.
The medical community increasingly supports the use of nasal steroids for the treatment of nasal congestion, also known as rhinitis. Nasal steroids, which contain corticosteroids (a hormone produced naturally by the body) work by reducing the inflammation, mucus, and swelling in the nose and sinuses. Nasal steroids are generally used to provide relief from nasal congestion caused by an allergic reaction. Nasal steroids do not provide quick relief from nasal congestion; symptoms begin to improve around 24 hours after the first administration, and complete relief from these symptoms may take up to two weeks using nasal steroids. However, nasal steroids can be used for extended periods of time, even years, if necessary (with few, or no, side effects).
Alternatively, nasal sprays offer quick relief from heavy nasal congestion. However, nasal sprays contain decongestants, which are known to be addictive. Decongestants may provide almost immediate relief from nasal congestion; however, this relief is only temporary. Furthermore, after prolonged use, nasal sprays lose their efficacy, requiring increasing dosages to achieve the same results; they are also known to raise blood pressure and cause damage to the nasal passages.
Nasal congestion can also be relieved using home remedies such as burning a teaspoon of cardamom seeds on hot coals and breathing in the resulting smoke, dripping saline solution into each nostril and blowing your nose, inhaling black pepper (or the smoke released by burning five or six black pepper seeds), adding a few more pillows under your head when you sleep, and increasing the level of moisture in the air using a vaporizer.
Antihistamines and other medications, and a healthy diet and lifestyle may also provide some reprieve from heavy congestion.