What are sniffles?

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A sniffle is a reflex action of inhaling fast in order to prevent mucus from flowing from the nose as an option to blowing the nose. It is an involuntary action but sometimes it is done consciously too, and does not only happen in children but adults as well. To learn to recognize and manage respiratory issues such as sniffles, sign up for a first aid class today.

A common cause of sniffles and runny nose include common cold and flu, but an individual can sniffle without any illness that is usually caused by cold climate. Oftentimes, sniffling is a way of suppressing tears.

Sniffles can be caused by the following:

  • Allergy which is the common cause of sniffles. It can be called allergic rhinitis which includes runny nose, sneezing and tingling sensations in the nasal cavity. This allergy can be caused by exposure to pollen, smoke, dust and mold.
  • Irritants present in the environment such as cigarette smoke, perfume, air pollution and smoke from various chemicals.
  • An irritant that causes the inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane and when it swells, it starts to produce mucus and this condition is called vasomotor rhinitis.
  • Frequently using medicated nasal spray in relieving stuffy nose, blood pressure medications, antidepressants and antipsychotic medications can cause sniffling.
  • Suppressed tears and crying.
A common cause of sniffles and runny nose include common cold and flu, but an individual can sniffle without any illness that is usually caused by cold climate.

Treatment and home remedies for sniffling

  • Use saline water in order to relieve stuffy nose and runny nose by mixing a teaspoon of salt in ½ liter of water. Boil the water until the salt is dissolved completely. Cool the water and keep in a safe and clean place. Add a cup of water in a bottle with a dropper and apply two drops in each nostril. Salt helps in minimizing the inflammation and soothes the lining of the tissues.
  • Drink hot tea in order to soothe the nasal passages since it minimizes sniffling because the blockage in the nasal passage is reduced. Create tea using thyme and cayenne pepper by boiling a cup of water and add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and add 2 teaspoons of honey and sip it slowly. The sniffles disappear in a few minutes. Thyme tea can also be helpful in treating sniffles by mixing 2 teaspoons of thyme in a cup of boiling water and sweeten with honey.
  • Inhaling steam is also an effective way in relieving symptoms of sniffles. Take a hot shower in the morning upon waking up since it helps open up the sinuses and helps in releasing trapped mucus found in the throat and the nasal passages.
  • Breathing the steam from boiling water can also help with sniffles. Boil 8 cups of water and add 3 drops of eucalyptus oil which helps in opening and relaxing of the nasal passages.
  • Boil fennel in 8 cups of water and when the water is boiling, take a towel and wrap it over the head and shoulders and then lean over the pot of water at a comfortable position and breathe deeply the steam for 14-20 minutes. Do this procedure at least twice a day.

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