How to Stop a Runny Nose in 5 Minutes?

How to Stop a Runny Nose in 5 Minutes

Do you often find yourself reaching for a tissue every few seconds because of a runny nose? A runny nose can be bothersome and uncomfortable, especially when it seems to persist no matter what you do. Whether it’s due to allergies, a cold, or something else, finding relief quickly is key. Luckily, there are several simple and effective ways to stop a runny nose in just five minutes or less. Let’s explore these methods so you can breathe easy again.

How to Stop a Runny Nose in 5 Minutes?

  • Stay Hydrated

One of the simplest ways to combat a runny nose is by staying hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps thin out mucus, making it easier to expel from your nasal passages. Additionally, hydration helps maintain moisture in your nasal membranes, which can soothe irritation and reduce the urge to constantly blow your nose. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and consider sipping on warm liquids like herbal tea or broth for added relief.

  • Use a Saline Nasal Spray

Saline nasal sprays provide quick relief for a runny nose by moisturizing and flushing out the nasal passages. These sprays contain a solution of salt and water that helps clear away irritants and reduce inflammation. To use a saline nasal spray, simply tilt your head back slightly, insert the nozzle into one nostril, and spray once or twice. Repeat the process on the other nostril. You should feel immediate relief as the saline solution works its magic.

  • Apply Pressure

Applying pressure to specific points on your face can help alleviate nasal congestion and stop a runny nose. One effective technique is to use your fingers to apply gentle pressure to the area just above your eyebrows, near the bridge of your nose. Hold this pressure for a few seconds, then release. You can also try pressing on the sides of your nose, near the nostrils, using your index fingers. This can help open up your nasal passages and promote drainage, providing quick relief from a runny nose.

  • Try Steam Inhalation

Steam inhalation is another effective way to relieve nasal congestion and stop a runny nose within minutes. The steam helps moisturize and soothe irritated nasal passages, while also loosening mucus and promoting drainage. To try steam inhalation, fill a bowl with hot water and lean over it with a towel draped over your head to trap the steam. Breathe deeply for a few minutes, taking care not to get too close to the hot water to avoid burns. You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil to the water for added relief.

  • Use a Warm Compress

Applying a warm compress to your face can help ease nasal congestion and reduce the production of mucus, providing quick relief from a runny nose. To make a warm compress, soak a clean washcloth in warm water, then wring out the excess liquid. Fold the washcloth and place it over your nose and cheeks, focusing on areas where you feel the most congestion. Leave the compress on for a few minutes, allowing the warmth to penetrate and soothe your nasal passages.

  • Avoid Irritants

Irritants such as cigarette smoke, strong perfumes, and pollution can exacerbate a runny nose and make it more difficult to find relief. To stop a runny nose quickly, try to avoid exposure to these irritants as much as possible. If you’re unable to avoid them entirely, consider wearing a mask or using a nasal filter to help reduce your exposure. Additionally, try to keep your living space clean and free of dust and allergens, as these can also trigger nasal congestion and make your runny nose worse.

  • Use Over-the-Counter Medications

If natural remedies aren’t providing enough relief, over-the-counter medications can help stop a runny nose quickly. Antihistamines such as loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec) can help reduce nasal congestion and decrease the production of mucus caused by allergies. Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) can also provide fast relief by shrinking swollen nasal passages. However, it’s important to use these medications as directed and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

  • Try Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves applying pressure to specific points on the body to promote healing and relieve symptoms. To stop a runny nose using acupressure, try stimulating the pressure point located on the webbing between your thumb and index finger. Apply firm pressure to this point for a few minutes, then switch to the other hand. You can also try pressing on the point located at the base of your skull, just below the occipital ridge. These pressure points are believed to help alleviate nasal congestion and promote drainage, providing quick relief from a runny nose.


A runny nose can be a nuisance, but it doesn’t have to ruin your day. By following these simple tips and techniques, you can stop a runny nose in just five minutes or less and get back to feeling like yourself again. Whether you prefer natural remedies or over-the-counter medications, there are plenty of options available to help you find relief quickly. So the next time you feel the sniffles coming on, try one of these methods and breathe easy once more.

Written by Amy Fischer

Amy, a registered dietitian at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Nutrition Lab, brings a wealth of expertise to nutrition, health content, and product testing. With a journalism degree from Miami University of Ohio and a master's in clinical nutrition from NYU, she's a versatile expert. Prior to joining Good Housekeeping, Amy worked as a cardiac transplant dietitian at a prominent NYC hospital and contributed to clinical nutrition textbooks. Her background also includes PR and marketing work with food startups.

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