How to get rid of a blocked nose: Flu symptoms warning ahead of colds season

A blocked nose is primarily caused by inflamed nasal passages, according to GP Dr Roger Henderson.

The body’s immune system - its natural defences - attempts to fight off the cold or flu virus by targeting the inflamed areas.

While antibodies attack the virus, blood vessels around the nasal passage begin to swell up, causing the body to make a thick, gloopy nasal mucus, which causes the blocked, stuffy nose, Henderson said.

Finding a way to reduce the inflammation in nasal passages was key to clearing a blocked nose, he added.

“With winter fast approaching, many of us will find ourselves bunged up and congested as we come down with a common cold,” said Dr Henderson.

“Although a cold can pass quickly, typically in just five to 10 days, a blocked nose is a major factor that contributes to us feeling under the weather.

“By helping to reduce the thickness of the nasal mucus, natural decongestants unblock nasal passages, allowing for easier breathing and symptomatic relief from the usual cold symptoms that can cause so much misery.”

The best way to avoid catching a cold this flu season is to wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water, he added.

Bacterial and viral infections are spread by sneezing, according to decongestant maker Olbas.

A single sneeze can project up to 100,000 germs across 25 feet. Up to 40,000 droplets are launched from the nasal passages, at speeds topping 100mph, Olbas said.

Constant sneezing can be avoided by deep breathing, holding your breath while counting to 10, or gently pinching the bridge of your nose for several seconds.

But, fighting a cold and feeling congested was “inevitable” this winter, the manufacturer added.

Olbas Brand Manager, Nikki Banwell, said: “We are thrilled to have introduced a fast-acting natural formula nasal spray to our cold fighting range that not only works within two minutes, but also provides an immediate refreshing sensation.

“Olbas Nasal Spray is perfect to keep in a desk drawer, handbag or car glove box for quick and effective relief from a blocked nose while on-the-go.”

The flu jab could help to protect against seasonal flu.

The vaccine is free on the NHS for anyone over 65, pregnant women, or people with an underlying health condition.