The first step is to understand the cause. The cause is easy to identify if we have a cold or the flu, but diagnosis may be more difficult when nasal congestion persists for a long period of time.
In this case, the advice of a physician is indispensible. Self-medication may not be the best approach. To relive the discomfort caused by nasal congestion it may be useful, especially in winter, to humidify our living spaces and to perform nasal lavage and/or humidify the mucosa with saline solutions.
These solutions can help keep the nasal cavities clean and facilitate elimination of bacteria and other irritant agents. The high concentration of salt found in some solutions also reduces the swelling of the mucosa. When this is not sufficient, medicinal products may be in order. The most frequently prescribed medicines are vasoconstrictors, cortisone-based preparations, and antihistamines.