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Don't use a decongestant spray for more than 3 days in a row or your stuffed nose could come back.

Do you have a heart problem or glaucoma? If so, ask your doctor before you take one of these drugs.

A no-medicine way to loosen things up is to use a humidifier. The moist air will help you breathe easier and sleep better. It can also help kill the flu virus.

Another natural approach to unclog a stuffed nose is to try a saline (salt water) nasal spray. It will break up mucus to help you breathe better.

6. Check the Labels

It’s understandable to want to stop the pain ASAP. But you do need to know what you’re taking. Some products have the same ingredients, like acetaminophen, and it’s easy to get more than you expected.

Also, read up on whether you have any conditions that aren’t a good match for your pain reliever. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see what is safe for you.

7. Gargle

Salt water can help soothe a sore throat. Stir 1 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of warm water to make the gargle. Repeat a few times a day -- whenever your throat bothers you.

8. Suck on a Lozenge

To stifle a cough, you might reach for an over-the-counter cough medicine. But there isn't much evidence these work. You'll likely find just as much relief from sucking on a cough drop or hard candy.

9. Protect Your Friends and Family

The flu spreads very easily from person to person. So when you’re sick, keep to yourself as much as possible.

Sneeze and cough into a tissue, not the air. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water. If that’s not possible, use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Disinfect any surfaces where flu germs might have landed.

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