Waking up with a stuffy nose can be worrisome and irritating, especially if you aren’t sure why it is happening. There are many possible triggers for a stuffy nose. Let’s examine a few of those triggers and what you can do to relieve your congestion.
Common Causes of a Stuffy Nose
Common causes of nasal congestion include but are not limited to:
- Sinusitis. Sinusitis causes the sinuses to become inflamed and swollen. Swelling and inflammation can prevent mucus from draining, resulting in a stuffy nose.
- Cold. Colds caused by viruses can present with a scratchy throat, cough and a runny or stuffy nose. Most people will recover from a cold within seven to 10 days, but symptoms may last longer in some.
- Nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are painless growths inside the sinuses. While small polyps may not cause symptoms, larger growths can cause a blocked or stuffy nose.
- Allergies. When exposed to allergens you’re sensitive to, your nasal passages can become inflamed, leading to a blocked or stuffy nose.
How Can You Manage Nasal Congestion?
A couple of easy ways you can help clear your nasal congestion include:
- Nasal irrigation. Stand over a sink and pour a saline solution into one nostril, tilting your head and draining it through the other nostril. Repeat on the other side of your nose to drain excess mucus.
- Steam. Steam can help thin out the mucus in your nose. Try running a hot shower with a towel under the door to increase the steam in the room.
- Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated helps loosen and thin the mucus in your sinuses. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids, especially if you have developed sinusitis or a cold.
- Allergen avoidance. Avoiding allergens is one of the best ways to reduce allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion. Start by identifying your allergies through a skin prick or allergy test and developing a plan to avoid your allergens. For instance, if you’re allergic to pollen, avoid Tower Park during high pollen count days.
These tips for stuffy nose management can help prevent waking up with congestion from putting a damper on your day. For more information on managing your nasal or sinus congestion, contact ENT & Allergy Specialists today to schedule an appointment with one of our trusted specialists.