Man with stuffy nose in the morning

Is blowing your nose a part of your morning routine? For many people, it’s as common as brushing your teeth or making a cup of coffee. As they go on about their day, they may notice that their nose isn’t as congested as it was when they woke up. Why is that, and what can be done to fix morning congestion?

What is nasal congestion?

Nasal congestion, or a stuffy nose, is where the lining of the nasal passages becomes swollen and inflamed. This can sometimes be accompanied by a runny nose with excessive mucus buildup. As a result, you may experience obstructed breathing in your nasal cavities.

Why does nasal congestion happen in the morning?

Typically, a stuffy nose can be attributed to allergies, a cold, or a sinus infection. For those who enjoy evening beverages, alcohol has been shown to increase swelling in the nasal cavity. Your sleep position can also be a factor; as you sleep, blood flow increases to the head, which can cause additional swelling in the nasal passages.

What are some remedies for morning congestion?

If your nose is stuffy in the morning, there are many home remedies you can do to treat it. A hot shower before work can create steam to thin out the mucus and provide some relief. The steam from your coffee or tea can help, but it is advised to compliment it with water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Finally, taking an antihistamine nasal spray can be beneficial against congestion.

What can I do to prevent morning congestion?

If you’re looking to prevent a morning stuffy nose, there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to help out. Sleeping in a recliner or with your head propped up can reduce additional blood flow to the head and the subsequent congestion. Before you go to bed, drink water for additional hydration through the night. If your congestion is due to environmental allergies, clean your bed sheets at least once a week.

Dr. Roy Lewis, a CEENTA otolaryngologist who provides services at our Mooresville office, has additional advice for those dealing with congestion. “I love saline nasal spray. If used consistently, after a month, patients will notice decreased congestion and decreased mucus. The addition of a topical steroid spray such as Flonase can work wonders. It also takes a good month to be fully effective and can be used in conjunction with the saline. If those simple interventions don't work, then we can evaluate further.”

If you suspect that your stuffy nose in the morning is due to allergies, find out what you’re allergic to with CEENTA. With comprehensive allergy testing for most environmental and pet allergies along with multiple treatment options, you’ll be ready to greet the morning again in no time. Schedule your next allergy appointment with Dr. Roy Lewis at our Mooresville location today or virtually to take part in his services. 

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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