Nesting and Sniffing


Nesting and sniffing are common. Often this is due to a cold, but it can also be due to allergies, sensitive mucous membranes, pregnancy or that you have used the nasal spray for a long time. Often it goes away by itself but sometimes you need treatment.

Different types of nasal congestion and snuff

Being stuffy in the nose means you have trouble breathing through your nose. This is because the mucous membranes in the nose have swollen.

Sniffing means that there is more letting out of the nose than it usually does. The cord can be of different colors and can be both thicker and more fluid.

What could it be?

The snout can depend on many different things.

Sniff at a cold

Snoring is usually due to a cold. Then the mucous membranes in the nose swell and it becomes harder to breathe through the nose. The snout is usually thin at first and almost translucent. After a few days, it becomes thicker and becomes more gray, yellow or green to the color.

It is very common for the snuff to become thick and get a yellow or green color in the event of a cold. This does not mean that you have a bacterial infection.

Sniff in case of allergy

The snout can also be due to pollen allergy, fur allergy or mite allergy. Then the snout is thin and translucent and the nose flows all the time. It is common to have other symptoms at the same time as sniffing if you have allergies. For example, it can be runny, itchy eyes or sneezing.

Nesting that doesn’t get better can sometimes be due to allergies.

Sniff and nasal congestion in sensitive mucous membranes

Thin running snout or nasal congestion may also be due to so-called vasomotor rhinitis. The symptoms may come if you eat some special food, drink alcohol or are in dry air. They can also come from strong smells like tobacco smoke or perfumes.

Vasomotor rhinitis is because the mucous membranes in the nose are extra sensitive. It can be difficult to know why they have become so.

Never stop if you have used the nasal spray for too long

The nasal congestion may be because you have been using a nasal spray for a long time.

The nasal mucosa gets used if you use the decongestant nasal spray for more than ten consecutive days. Then the nasal mucosa swells immediately if you do not use the spray.

Nasal congestion in connection with pregnancy

It is common to have trouble with prolonged nasal congestion during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the amount of blood in the whole body increases, even in the mucous membranes of the nose. They become thicker, more swollen and easier to start bleeding.

What can I do for myself?

It is common to have trouble sleeping if you have nasal congestion and cough. Also, It may feel better if you lie with your head high. Usually, it reduces the swelling of the nose. Bed with some extra pillows under your head. It can feel more comfortable for your back if you put the pillows under the mattress.  

Clearing your nose can help

You who have thick lungs may try to clear the nose with saline solution, for example before going to sleep. There are ready-made saline drops and saline spray to buy at pharmacies.

You can also make saline yourself by mixing a spicy salt in a deciliter of water. The water does not need to be boiled, but it can feel better if the solution is lukewarm when using it. To get the saline solution into the nose, you can use a special nasal rinse or a small plastic syringe that is available at pharmacies.

Nasal flushing can also relieve you if you have long-lasting nasal congestion.

Lubricate dry mucous membranes

You who have problems with dry mucous membranes in the nose can lubricate them with some cooking oil. There is also softening nasal spray with sesame oil to buy at pharmacies.

Decomposing nasal spray reduces swelling

Nasal congestion due to a cold can be relieved with a nasal spray. But you should not use the decongestant nasal spray for more than ten days as long-term use can instead provide nasal congestion that is difficult to get rid of. This is true even if you are pregnant. If you have been using the medicine for 10 days, a guideline may be to stay for at least ten days before using it again.

It is best to stop spraying immediately if you have been using a nasal spray for a long time. Then you may feel even more stuffy in the nose for a few days before releasing. If you have a lot of trouble, try a non-prescription nasal spray with cortisone. Here you can read more about how to stop using nasal spray if you have become addicted.

When and where should I seek care

Contact a health care center if any of the following is true of you:

  • Have used the nasal spray for a long time and feel that you cannot be without it.
  • You have been stuffed in one nostril for a long time.
  • Having nasal congestion or runny nose for more than two weeks.


You can tell us about your problems at the health center. Your doctor will then check if you can breathe through your nose. She also looks into her nose. Usually, the nostrils widen and glow into the nose with a lamp.

Sometimes more studies are done, for example, it can be an allergy investigation.

Treatment of nesting and sniffing

The treatment of nesting and sniffing you receive depends on what the nasal congestion or snuff is due to. Often, the trouble goes away by itself.

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