If Your Nighttime Stuffiness Is From Colds Or The Flu
When youre sick, the blood vessels in your nose open up more than usual, and decongestants constrict them, explains Crystal Zhou, PharmD, assistant professor in the department of Clinical Pharmacy at UCSF School of Pharmacy.
The trouble is, she explains, these medications are not specific to the nasal passageways. They have the ability to decrease the size of blood vessels all over the body, and that can cause high blood pressure. So decongestants can be risky if you have underlying cardiovascular disease. So it makes sense to try to start taming a blocked nose at night in a non-systemic way first.
Keep Your Bedroom Cool And Dark
When youre sick, small things can keep you from getting much-needed sleep. For example, you might feel more sensitive to fluctuations in light or temperature.
Keep the temperature in your bedroom cool and opt for light covers. Use blackout curtains to ensure outside light doesnt affect your sleep.
How Do You Clear A Stuffy Nose
Here are ways you can clear nasal congestion:
- Drink lots of water and clear fluids. Fluids help thin mucus and ease congestion.
- Use a saline nasal spray or wash to flush out mucus.
- Apply adhesive strips to your nose to open nasal passages.
- Use humidifiers to moisten the air at your home and/or workplace.
- Ask your healthcare provider to recommend over-the-counter medication that treats nasal congestion. Be sure they know about all medications you take so they can recommend medications that wont interact with your existing medications.
- If nasal congestion keeps your baby from nursing or taking a bottle, use a nasal bulb syringe to clear mucus from their nose.
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Diagnosing And Treating A Persistent Stuffy Nose
During your ENT consultation, your childs doctor will review all of your childs symptoms with you and ask questions that will help determine if theres a pattern to their symptoms. An examination will be done, and testing may be recommended. Common tests include allergy testing, nasal endoscopy, x-rays and CT scans.
Once the cause has been determined, noninvasive treatments are prioritized whenever possible. For concerns like allergies and deviated septums, antihistamine, decongestant and anti-inflammatory medication could be indicated. Allergy shots may be recommended for children with severe allergies if they dont respond well to medication. In cases of adenoid hypertrophy, severe septum deviation and choanal atresia, your childs doctor may discuss surgery with you.
An aching face and a stuffed up nose are an uncomfortable distraction and possible sleep disruption for a child that needs to learn and grow. If your child seems to have a chronic nasal blockage, make an appointment with Pediatric ENT of Oklahoma today.
Avoid Caffeine After 2 Pm
Caffeine is a stimulant found in tea, coffee, and soda. It can give you an energy boost when youre feeling under the weather, but it may have a mild diuretic effect.
So, if youre having difficulty staying hydrated with fluid, you dont want to risk anything that could add to the potential of becoming dehydrated and forming thick mucus.
Caffeine and sleep dont mix, either. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, having caffeine up to six hours before bed can result in disruptive sleep.
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Gaggle With Hot Water
Are you looking for a cost-effective way on how to unblock nose instantly? Doctors recommend a gaggle in hot water when you are suffering from flu or your sinuses are filled with mucus. It is very easy to gaggle. Just take a cup of hot water and pour 1 tablespoon salt in it. Intake the hot salty water in the mouth and gaggle.
Gaggling with the hot salty water can throw the virus out as well as itching and irritation in the throat is relieved or lessened.
How To Unblock A Babys Nose Naturally
Nasal congestion in babies can be challenging to treat. Medicated products are usually not recommended in young infants due to safety concerns and the cause of congestion is often unclear. That makes it difficult to know what to do, so what do you need to know?
Whats causing my babys stuffy nose?
The reason behind nasal congestion is that the nasal and surrounding areas becoming inflamed and swollen with fluid and mucus buildup. This causes the nasal passageways to become narrower, which can make it more difficult to breathe through the nose and harder for your baby to sleep and feed well. This might happen if your baby has a cold or allergies, amongst other causes.
Treatments for a babys blocked nose
Nasal saline products contain naturally sourced seawater and work by loosening mucus and gently cleansing nasal passages.
hydraSense® Baby Nasal Care products contain a sterile saline solution that is free of medications and preservatives and are designed specifically for use in the delicate nostrils of young babies.
Nasal Aspirator vs Nasal Spray
hydraSense® Easydose® vials are individual ready-to-use vials with saline solution that can be used either alone or with an aspirator device to help relieve nasal congestion and cold symptoms.
hydraSense® Baby Nasal Care Ultra-Gentle Mist is a nasal spray device intended for use in the nose that can be used to reduce and relieve nasal congestion and cold symptoms.
When to consult a physician
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Keep Pets Out Of The Bedroom
As sweet and loving as they may be, your pets may have a negative effect on the air quality in your bedroom. Cat and dog dander are common allergens that can trigger allergy symptoms, including congestion.
While it may take effort to keep your pets out of your room, it can help you breathe easier at night.
These time-tested remedies can help you relieve congestion and wind down for the night.
Resist The Urge To Blow Your Nose
Its normal to reach for the tissues when you have a stuffy nose. But blowing your nose isnt actually recommended. Why?
Research has shown that it generates excess pressure in the nasal cavities that could cause fluid from your nose to go into your sinuses.
Instead of blowing, use a tissue to dab at a runny nose. If you absolutely must blow your nose, opt for one nostril at a time and blow gently.
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Say No To Alcohol Especially After 2 Pm
If you already have a stuffy nose, drinking can make it worse. For approximately 3.4 percent of people, consuming alcohol triggers upper respiratory symptoms such as sneezing and a blocked or runny nose.
Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases urine production. When you drink, its more difficult to stay hydrated. When youre dehydrated, your mucus is thicker and cant drain as easily.
Alcohol can also have a . If youre sick, its best to avoid alcohol altogether.
No 8 Move To A Fresh Air Location
This is a home remedy, however, in order to incorporate it youll have to literally move your home . Some places in the U.S. have really bad air quality.
In large cities, air quality is usually poor from pollution. Even cities near the ocean can have bad air.
But living in a more rural area doesnt mean better air. I grew up in an agricultural area and the air quality was worse than most large cities.
In Texas people battle seasonal cedar fever, experiencing nose symptoms in the winter. In the South, hot humid summers might cause a boom in dust mite populations and seriously affect people with dust mite allergy.
If youre moving to a new location for a new job look at the air quality, precipitation patterns, humidity, and vegetation to better understand if your symptoms will be affected.
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Are Some People More Prone To Developing Nasal Polyps
Cystic fibrosis is one of the conditions that may predispose a person to developing nasal polyps. Other conditions include asthma and sensitivity to aspirin that, together with nasal polyps, form Samters Triad, also known as aspirin exacerbated respiratory disease. People who have Samters Triad suffer from severe asthma accompanied by nasal polyps. They also frequently develop an allergy-like reaction to aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
No 6 Use High Quality Filters And An Air Purifier
If youre having a hard time indoors there could be a few of problems.
- Nasal problems in winter
- Nasal problems year-round
- Nasal problems while sleeping
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air can be 2-5 times higher than outdoor air. Think about it, sometimes were afraid to go outside because we think the air is bad, but it could be worse inside!
Growing up, I lived in a geographical region that had terrible air one of the worst in the U.S. I knew that going outside would put my lungs at risk, but I never realized that indoor air might be making me feel bad as well. I look back at the inside of my familys home and see a few potential problems.
We had carpets everywhere in the house. Carpets attract and hold onto dirt and dust. Even if we use a vacuum diligently, its almost impossible to capture all the dirt and dust in carpets.
We used poor quality HVAC filters in our home and when we used the heater and air conditioner the filters didnt capture much dust in the air, it simply blew through the filtration system and returned to the room.
A high-quality HVAC filter and air purifier with a HEPA filter can do wonders for indoor air. Ive changed to using awesome HVAC filters and turn the vent on 1-2 times per week to filter the air in the house it works well and I feel better breathing!
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More Tips To Get Rid Of A Stuffy Nose
Avoiding a stuffy nose at night can begin with prevention during the day. In general, to clear a stuffy nose, the overall best daily practices include:
What Triggers Nasal Congestion
The short answer is many things trigger nasal congestion. Thats because your nose is on the front line when it comes to protecting your body from intruders. Your nose takes in air that may carry dirt, particles and allergens. The inside of your nose houses a battalion of hair and cilia that snare intruders, sending them to your nostrils. When you sneeze or blow your nose, youre kicking intruders out of your system. Sometimes, your nose hair and cilia dont catch all intruders. When that happens, the tissue lining the inside of your nose becomes inflamed and starts to swell. Then, your immune system kicks in, flooding your nose with mucus thats intended to wash away intruders. Swollen nasal tissues and mucus combine to block your nose, making your condition worse.
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Use Menthol Ointment Or Oil
Essential oils like menthol dont unblock the nose, but the cooling sensation helps you feel like youre breathing more easily, explains Dr Ramskill.
You can dissolve a few drops of menthol, eucalyptus or camphor oil in a bath or a humidifier, or try a plug-in vapouriser. Another option is a vapour rub, which is an ointment you apply to your chest.
Acute Versus Chronic Sinusitis
Inflammation of the tissues that line the nasal cavity causes a stuffy nose. In some cases, a stuffy nose will go away on its own, for instance, if a common cold is causing the inflammation, the swelling resolves once the cold has gone away. A persistently stuffy nose might inhibit sinus drainage and lead to inflammation of the sinuses, called sinusitis. An acute sinusitis resolves within less than 8 weeks. Chronic sinusitis lasts much longer than acute sinusitis, by definition more than 8 weeks.
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:
- Thick nasal drainage
- Problems breathing through the nose
- Diminished or even loss of sense of smell and taste
- Pain around the cheeks, eyes, and forehead
If you have a stuffy nose that lasts more than a couple of weeks, its best to see a doctor. You should also visit a doctor if you have recurring bouts of sinusitis.
The ongoing inflammation caused by unaddressed allergies can lead to persistent nasal congestion. You may assume that you keep catching colds, or that you have a cold that wont go away when indeed you are dealing with chronic sinusitis.
Dr. Ziegner can help you get to the root of your stuffy nose, so you can get much-needed treatment and relief.
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If You Want A Decongestant
If you dont have underlying health concerns that prevent you from taking a decongestant, heres how to stop feeling so dazed in the cold remedies aisle.
Know that there are two types of OTC decongestants, both of which constrict blood vessels, says Zhou.
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Pseudoephedrine is OTC, but pharmacists have to keep it behind the counter and note its purchase . It not only constricts blood vessels, it also somewhat works on the lungs to help open those. It has two mechanisms of action that help you breathe better, she says.
Phenylephrine, the other main type of decongestant that you can just pluck off the shelf, doesnt have that lung action.
The trouble with these at night is that theyre stimulants. So for PM or nighttime formulations, drug companies add something to the meds that help you sleep. If you dont like or need those sedating additions, theres a hack you can try with daytime meds, says Zhou. Try taking a 12-hour formulation about 11 or 12 hours before you want to sleep. It may keep your nose from being blocked long enough to get you to sleep, and hopefully a stuffy nose wont awaken you in the middle of the night.
What about combination products? Those cold meds with something for cough, headache, and congestion? I like combination products if you truly need every ingredient in there, says Zhou. But in general, when it comes to cold medications, more isnt better. Get just the ingredients you need to breathe easier.
Hold A Warm Flannel To Your Cheeks
Holding a warm compress to your cheeks and face can ease the pressure in your sinuses, explains Dr Ramskill. You can do this as often as you need.
You can make a warm compress at home by soaking a flannel or cloth in warm water and ringing it out. The water should be hot but not scalding, like a bath.
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Treating Chronic Nasal Congestion
Proper diagnosis is the first step toward managing a chronic stuffy nose. Dr. Ziegner will rule out other causes such as a deviated septum.
To diagnose allergies, Dr. Ziegner uses insight gleaned from your symptoms, medical history, and relevant tests and then makes a customized treatment plan for you.
If youre struggling with nasal allergies, congestion, sinusitis or nasal polyps, we can help you get relief. To get started, call our Redondo Beach, California, office at 310-504-3242 to schedule a visit with Dr. Ziegner.
Causes Of A Stuffy Nose
Regardless of the reasons for your congested nose, there are ways to get relief. So, dont let yourself down. Lets get deep into the factors that trigger cold and eventually lead to the stuffed up nose.
The common cold or seasonal cold is due to a viral infection. There are several viruses that can cause a common cold, with the rhinovirus being the most common one. However, viral infections are the most common causes of a stuffy nose.
Moreover, a common cold might even breed sneezing, cough, and sore throat.
2. Allergic Rhinitis
As stated by Medical News Today, this is a very common and normal condition that has been diagnosed for around 40 to 60 million people in the United States according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Allergic Rhinitis happens when the bodys immunity overreacts and sometimes because of having a family history of allergies. Besides a stuffy nose, symptoms of allergic rhinitis may include sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose.
3. Pregnancy Rhinitis
During pregnancy, theres an increase of hormones which include progesterone and estrogen. The amplifying hormones along with an increase in blood flow causes the mucus membranes to swell in the nose. Thus pregnancy affects many parts of the body, including nose with symptoms such as stuffy nose and sneezing.
4. Occupational Rhinitis
Symptoms of occupational rhinitis are stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and coughing.
5. Atrophic Rhinitis
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