When nasal and adjacent tissues and blood vessels become swollen with excess fluid, causing a “stuffy” feeling, which may or may not include a runny nose where discharge accompanies the difficulty in breathing. This is annoyance for older children and adults as well. It can be serious for children at night if it disturbs their sleep or for infants who might have a hard time feeding as keeping their mouth shut is not easy.35
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.36
There are explanations to why nasal congestion worsens at night, as well as causes for chronic nasal congestion.
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, chromic sinusitis and nasal congestion.37
Churg-Strauss syndrome, a disorder marked blood vessel inflammation
Decongestant nasal spray overuse
Deviated nasal septum
Food specially spicy dishes
Foreign body in the nose
Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener’s granulomatosis)
Some medications like the ones treating hypertension depression seizures, ,…..etc
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
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
To clear congestion at home, a person might try:
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
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 extract39
If symptoms last for more than 10 days
If accompanied with a high fever
If the nasal discharge is yellow or green with sinus pain or fever as this can be a sign of a bacterial infection
Bloody nasal discharge or persistent clear discharge after trauma to the head
If the child is younger than 2 years and has fever
If it causes trouble nursing or if it makes breathing difficult40
35. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nasal-congestion/basics/definition/sym-20050644 Last visited on 14th July 2021
36. https://www.medicinenet.com/nasal_congestion/symptoms.htm Last visited on 14th July 2021
37. https://www.verywellhealth.com/why-do-i-get-congested-at-night-1192188 Last visited on 14th July 2021
38. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nasal-congestion/basics/causes/sym-20050644 Last visited on 15th July 2021
39. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/nasal-congestion#treatment Last visited on 15th July 2021
40. https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/nasal-congestion/basics/when-to-see-doctor/sym-20050644 Last visited on 15th July 2021