In this article you will learn about

Symptoms of nasal congestion
Causes of nasal congestion at night
Chronic nasal congestion causes
How to treat nasal congestion

Symptoms of nasal congestion

  Difficulty in breathing through the nose.

  The constriction in the nasal passages makes it harder to get mucus out of the nose, so it builds up.

  Feeling stuffed-up, referred to as stuffy nose.

  Nasal congestion may be accompanied by other cold symptoms like headache and runny nose.

  Tiredness due to lack of sleep.2

Causes of nasal congestion at night

 Being distracted during the day.

 Human anatomy and gravity as during the day mucus is constantly drained by gravity from the nose and sinuses, but when in a horizontal position, mucus can pool or back up.

 Changes in blood pressure when lying down as the blood flow increases in the upper part of the body including head and nasal passages.

 Pregnancy, due to increased blood flow.

 A turbinate, which is a structure along the sinus wall that produces mucus, becomes swollen in one nostril which blocks air flow on that side.

 Gastro-oesophogeal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition where stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus, which is the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach, this is known as reflux. This can happen at any time of the day, However, lying down hinders the effect of gravity which can lead to night time nasal congestion due to irritation of the nasal mucosa b the acid. It is believed that there is a definite link between GERD, chronic sinusitis and nasal congestion.3

Chronic nasal congestion causes

  Acute sinusitis

  Alcohol consumption

  Chronic sinusitis

  Churg-Strauss syndrome, a disorder marked blood vessel inflammation

  Common cold

  Decongestant nasal spray overuse

  Deviated nasal septum

  Dry air

  Enlarged adenoids

  Food specially spicy dishes

  Foreign body in the nose

  Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s granulomatosis)

  Hormonal changes

  Influenza (Flu)

  Some medications like the ones treating hypertension depression seizures, etc.

  Nasal polyps

  Non-allergic rhinitis

  Occupational asthma


  Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

  Sleep apnoea


  Thryroid disorders

  Tobacco smoking4

Treatment For Nasal Congestion:

The best way to clear congestion depends largely on its cause. Some options include:

 Oral or topical antibiotics, if the cause is bacterial infection

 Corticosteroid nasal sprays

 Decongestants like Telfast D

 Mucus-thinning medications to help getting rid of the accumulated serum


 Corrective surgery for nasal septum deviation

Man using nasal spray to clear nasal congestion

Home Remedies

To clear congestion at home, a person might try:

 Staying hydrated

 Taking a warm shower

 Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water, with a towel over the head to trap in the steam

 Keeping the head elevated while sleeping

 Taking over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines such as Telfast and decongestants such as Telfast D

 Trying nasal rinses

 Taking OTC pain relief medications, if there is sinus pressure or pain

 Applying a cold compress to painful areas of the face

 Taking prophylactic probiotics or consuming probiotic-rich foods, such as yoghurt or kimchi

 Taking supplements that boost immunity, such as Zinc Sulfate, Echinacea, Vitamin C or Geranium extract5

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