My nose gets clogged very frequently. I keep have to dig out boogers out of it. They stick to the inner and upper part of the nostrils. Sometimes it's small pieces. Sometimes it's one huge piece. Usually I try to dig them out while they are still moist but if left for long enough they start to crust up. I pick my nose in the morning, afternoon and before bed. Each produces a short relief in breathing.

Haven't noticed any differences in time of year. I live in a very dry climate. AC is usually on in the office whole day. I tried steaming showers, flushing with salt water. Things that provide best relief are cough medicine and spicy foods.

Is this a medical condition of sorts? Sometimes when my nose is unclogged I still have difficulties getting a lung full of air. This causes snorring at night

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    As you say that you are sometimes having difficulties in getting a lung full of air even with unclogged nose, it seems a medical condition has arisen. You should consult an ENT specialist. Many a times, these can be cured by simple nasal sprays or regular nebulisation, which can be done at home. But as I'm not a doctor, I'll not recommend anything. Aug 31, 2017 at 3:36
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    See a primary care doctor or ENT specialist for this. Nasal congestion is super common; there are multiple possible etiologies, and multiple successful treatments. We can't give medical advice here; see Meta for reasons why.
    – DoctorWhom
    Aug 31, 2017 at 8:02
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    Use a saline spray several times a day. Don't pick, as picking will favor the formation of crusts. You'll need to find some alternate things to fidget with for the duration, and on a temporary basis you may need to put some bandaids across the nostrils to deter the habit. Sep 1, 2017 at 5:42
  • @aparente001 My grandmother suggested using salt water to clean things out. I asked if I could skip the whole water thing and go straight to snorting lines of salt. Apparently that is not so good for your health :/ but frequent nasal spray would be a better choice
    – user11075
    Sep 1, 2017 at 13:14
  • @Ruslan - that is correct. Sep 1, 2017 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


You may see improvement by using a saline spray several times a day. Don't pick, as picking will favor the formation of crusts. You'll need to find some alternate things to fidget with for the duration, and on a temporary basis you may need to put some bandaids across the nostrils to deter the habit.

The following is taken from http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/HealthAZ/TestsAndTreatments/HomeHealthCare/Pages/Normal-Saline-Solution-How-prepare-home.aspx

Normal saline is a sterile mixture of salt and water. It is called normal because its salt concentration is similar to tears, blood, and other body fluids (0.9% saline). It is also called isotonic solution. Normal saline is soothing and will not burn or sting when applied. It is used for:

  • injecting medicines via the veins (intravenous infusion)

  • rinsing contact lenses

  • rinsing the nasal passages (nasal irrigation)

  • cleansing the bladder (bladder irrigation)

How to make normal saline solution at home

Saline solution is easy to make at home. You will need:

  • 1 clean glass bottle or jar with lid

  • table salt

  • pot with lid

  • Put one cup of water and ½ teaspoon of salt into the pot. Put the lid on.

  • Boil for 15 minutes with the lid on (set a timer).

  • Set the pan aside until cooled to a room temperature.

  • Carefully pour the salt and water (normal saline) from the pan into the jar or bottle and put the lid on.

Normal saline solution: A few important points

  • It is very important to use only fresh normal saline. Bacteria can grow in saline and cause infections

  • Use a clean glass jar or bottle is that has been recently washed in a dishwasher with very hot soapy water

  • Do not drink solution

  • Throw away the solution if it grows cloudy or looks dirty

  • Keep the saline in a bottle or a glass for a maximum of 24 hours. Throw away any unused solution, wash the container, and make a new solution.

You can buy an over-the-counter nasal spray, if it is a bottle with a screw-on top, empty it out, rinse well with boiled water, and put the saline solution you prepared in that. Squirt once or twice in each nostril several times a day. Then just leave the inside of your nose alone and be patient. If you feel the need to blow your nose, that's okay as long as you do it gently.

During the first few days, find special activities that will distract you from the urge to pick. Stay away from environments and activities in which you normally engage in picking.

If you don't see improvement within a week, definitely see a doctor. Or sooner if things are really bothering you.

Some additional resources that may be helpful:

In seeking sensory stimulation, people tend to go to the sites where the nerve endings are. Grooming-type behaviors would seem to be a likely choice when it comes to reducing or producing stimulation. Any one of a number of different grooming-like behaviors could be pressed into service to perform this balancing function externally. Hair pulling, skin picking, nail biting, blemish squeezing, cheek biting, nose picking, etc., are only a few of a whole group of behaviors that already exist in the repertoires of all human beings that can be put to this use. [...] Grooming behaviors are something all human beings already engage in on a daily basis. The difference is that those people, whose behaviors have become extreme versus those who are doing them at a low level, are having difficulty regulating their internal levels of stimulation, and are putting the behaviors to another use. http://www.wsps.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=96:a-stimulus-regulation-model-of-trichotillomania-why-people-pull&catid=37:trichotillomania-by-fred-penzel-phd&Itemid=64

Other articles at the same site: http://www.wsps.info/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&id=7&Itemid=64

The section on Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors at https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/related-disorders/

  • There are packets of saline rinse solution you can buy at the pharmacy, follow directions on packet. And you can buy distilled water to use so that you don't have to boil water each day. Just don't contaminate the distilled water container and it can last a wihle. But it's best to avoid non-sterile water, as there have been (albeit extremely rare) cases of people getting serious infections from nasal rinsing with non-sterilized water.
    – DoctorWhom
    Sep 4, 2017 at 9:22
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    But as I said above, it probably is still best to see a doctor for this. If it is allergic or other kinds of rhinitis, there are several types of medications that can be tried to help, and they can teach you about allergen avoidance. If there is a physical blockage in your airways that is causing issues, they can find it and fix it. There are more things on the list than that, but that's why I suggest seeking a doctor to diagnose and treat it.
    – DoctorWhom
    Sep 4, 2017 at 9:27
  • @DoctorWhom - Agreed. Your list is helpful and I think it would be worthwhile to post it as a supplementary answer. Although OP's description of the problem was yucky, the problem described is not unique to OP. Sep 5, 2017 at 12:55

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