Effective Tips for Relieving Blocked or Runny Noses for All Ages

  • Allergies & hayfever
  • Blocked nose
  • Cold & flu
  • Runny nose
Effective Tips for Relieving Blocked or Runny Noses for All Ages

Discover practical tips and effective products to relieve blocked or runny noses in adults, children, and babies

Causes and common triggers of blocked or runny noses

A blocked nose usually occurs because the membranes lining the nose become swollen from inflamed blood vessels. A runny nose is the body’s way of getting rid of any irritants, allergens or germs that might be irritating or inflaming it. 1 These are often symptoms of the common cold and hayfever.

pexels-jan-kopřiva-3315512 1 (3)

What causes a cold:

A cold is a viral infection that affects your upper respiratory system (that’s your nose and sinuses, throat and windpipe causing the symptoms we are all too familiar with, such as sneezing, a runny nose sneezing, a blocked nose sneezing or a sore throat. With adults getting around 2 to 4 colds per year and children having as many as 5 to 10 per year, colds can be a very common problem for everyone. There are hundreds of different cold viruses and they are easily spread from person to person.

pexels-jan-kopřiva-3315512 1

What causes hayfever:

When you have an allergy (allergic rhinitis), your body overreacts to something that doesn’t normally cause problems for other people, such as pollen, dust mites or animal dander (skin flakes, hair or fur). Hayfever is triggered by pollen which is carried in the air and easily breathed in. Some people are sensitive to more than one type of pollen, making hayfever hard to avoid.

Seasonal hayfever and all-year nasal allergies can cause a range of symptoms involving not only your nose, but also your eyes, throat and ears. 4,5 6
Common allergic rhinitis symptoms include:

  • A stuffy or blocked nose (nasal congestion)
  • A runny nose
  • An itchy nose
  • Frequent sneezing (sneezing page TBC)
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Excess mucus in your throat (called postnasal drip)
  • A cough or having to clear your throat more often
  • Itchy ears, throat or roof of your mouth

Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done and many products available from your local pharmacy that can help you breathe freely!

Mask group (1)

How to unblock noses and stop runny noses

A Nasal decongestant spray

A medicated nasal decongestant spray, such as FLO Rapid Relief is one treatment that can help relieve either a blocked or runny nose. It does this by reducing inflammation in the nasal tissues. For patients over 12 years of age who need fast relief, FLO Rapid Relief is a preservative-free nasal decongestant spray. It’s important to note that FLO Rapid Relief nasal spray should NOT be used for longer than 3 days. If symptoms still persist after 3 days, it’s time to have a chat with your pharmacist or GP.

Saline nasal spray or sinus wash

You may also find using a saline nasal spray or sinus wash after using a nasal decongestant spray helps too. This can effectively flush away excess mucus, pollens, irritants and allergens which may still be present in the nose and sinuses. Try FLO Saline Plus and FLO Nasal Mist or for a more thorough wash, you can try FLO Sinus Care.

pexels-jan-kopřiva-3315512 1 (1)

Antihistamine nasal spray

If a blocked or runny nose is a result of hayfever or an allergy, then an antihistamine nasal spray might be more effective. EZE-ALLERGY Nasal Spray can be used by adults and children from 5 years of age. EZE-ALLERGY is designed to work in 15 minutes and lasts up to 12 hours. Unlike some medicated nasal sprays, e.g. nasal decongestant sprays, Eze Allergy can be used continuously for up to 6 months.

pexels-jan-kopřiva-3315512 1 (2)

I’m pregnant and have a blocked nose. Is there anything I can use?

Nasal stuffiness during pregnancy can be very common. Hormonal fluctuations and increased blood supply that occur during the months of pregnancy may cause this nasal congestion. These symptoms can last for many weeks and may result in disrupted sleep. This is due to the congestion worsening when you lie down.

A sinus wash kit like FLO Sinus Care is gentle, non-medicated and preservative-free meaning it provide a deep cleanse of the nasal and sinus tissues, can be used daily and is suitable for use during pregnancy.

What about babies and young children with blocked or runny noses?

If your child is experiencing a blocked or runny nose and it’s disrupting their sleep too, try a gentle, preservative-free saline nasal spray, like FLO Baby or FLO Kids. A stuffy or blocked nose in the first few months of their life can interfere with breastfeeding, which can be distressing for both mum and baby.

FLO Kids and Baby nasal salines are gentle enough for daily use and can be sprayed at any angle, even with your child lying down. For best results, use 3-4 times a day to help thin mucus and wash away irritants, germs, and allergens to clear your baby’s blocked nose. This enables easier breathing through their nose and as a result, breastfeeding and sleep may improve.

Find the right nasal and sinus solutions for your needs and start experiencing relief today. Visit your local pharmacy or explore our online product finder for more information.



  1. Cleveland Clinic. Nasal congestion. Last reviewed January 2022. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/17980-nasal-congestion (accessed March 2023).
  2. Cleveland Clinic. Common cold. Last reviewed February 2023. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12342-common-cold (accessed March 2023).
  3. Healthdirect. Colds. Last reviewed April 2022. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/colds (accessed March 2023).
  4. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Nasal allergies (rhinitis). Last reviewed October 2015. Available at: https://aafa.org/allergies/allergy-symptoms/rhinitis-nasal- allergy-hayfever/ (accessed March 2023).
  5. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA). Pollen allergy. 2022. Available at: https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/allergic-rhinitis-hay-fever-and- sinusitis/pollen-allergy (accessed March 2023).
  6. Healthdirect. Hayfever (allergic rhinitis). Last reviewed November 2022. Available at: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hay-fever (accessed March 2023).
  7. Baudoin, T et al. Redefining Pregnancy-Induced Rhinitis. 2021. American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. Vol. 35(3) 315–322
  8. Trabalon, M, Schaal, B. It Takes a Mouth to Eat and a Nose to Breathe: Abnormal Oral Respiration Affects Neonates’ Oral Competence and Systemic Adaptation. 2012. International Journal of Pediatrics Volume 2012, Article ID 207605, 10 pages doi:10.1155/2012/207605

Our Stockists

Other related blog


Group-Packshots (1)