Q My stuffy nose is really getting me down, please help?

A. You could try a decongestant. They work by reducing the swelling of the blood vessels in your nose, which helps to open the airways.

You can buy them at your pharmacy - they are available as nasal sprays, drops, tablets or capsules, liquids or syrups or flavoured powders to dissolve in hot water.

Some products may just contain decongestant medicine, but many are sold as "all-in-one" remedies that contain decongestants, painkillers or antihistamines.

Most decongestants can be bought over the counter from pharmacies without a prescription.

Most people can use decongestants safely, but they're not suitable for everyone.

They should not be used by the following groups of people, without first getting advice from a pharmacist or GP: people taking other medicines; people with diabetes; people with high blood pressure; people with an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism); men with an enlarged prostate; people with liver, kidney, heart or circulation problems; people with increased pressure in the eye glaucoma; babies and children. Decongestants should not be given to children under 6. Children aged 6 to 12 should take them for no longer than 5 days.

The patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine will contain a lot of these and other points.

If you're not sure, ask a pharmacist for advice. Decongestant nasal sprays and drops should not be used for more than a week at a time because using them for too long can make your stuffiness worse.