Why do I wake up with a blocked nose every morning?

November 27, 2020 4 min read



Allergy is a very common cause for people to wake up with a blocked nose, or nasal congestion as it might be called. If air pollution such as pollen, dust, mould spores or traffic soot is being inhaled, they can cause an over-reaction of the immune system - which can then manifest itself into allergy symptoms. In this response, antibodies are produced and cause the symptoms of congestion because they make the tiny capillary blood vessels in the nose leak fluid.  Your nose feels blocked up, it becomes harder to breathe and you might wake up with a blocked nose, and sometimes even a headache.


But why do you wake up with a blocked nose every morning?

You might wake up with a blocked nose because general air pollution is present in your bedroom environment. Such pollution can come from indoor, or outdoor sources. In this post, we will explain what you can do to control airborne pollution in your home.  If they cause your allergy symptoms, controlling them might help to reduce your allergy symptoms so that you do not wake up with a blocked nose anymore.

House dust mite
One common allergen to cause blocked noses is the dust mite allergen.  The droppings of the house dust mite contain allergens and, since the droppings are only a few microns in size, they easily become airborne and thus can be inhaled. The dust mites favourite habitat in a home are carpets, bedding and mattresses. Therefore, night time is prime time for dust mite allergen.  Exposure to the allergen - especially over a longer period of time -  can irritate your immune system so that you wake up with a blocked nose in the morning as a result.

To help control dust mite allergens in your home, you might want to use allergy friendly cleaning products. A good allergy cleaning product naturally destroys dust mite allergens on contact. It is recommended to wash your bedding regularly with an allergy laundry detergent and to dry it thoroughly (mites flourish in even slightly damp conditions). You might also want to consider in investing in a new mattress, pillows, and duvet. Hard flooring, rather than carpet, in the bedroom, is a plus when it comes to allergies, as they are mostly easier to keep clean. It helps to damp dust regularly and keep clutter - which collects dust - to a minimum.

Traffic pollution
Traffic pollution can be a common cause in people waking up with a blocked nose as it can causes perennial rhinitis. The main components of traffic pollution are ground-level ozone, particulate matter such as ultra fine dust, and nitrogen oxides.  These pollutants can have an irritant effect on the respiratory tract and can enter a bedroom through cracks in the windows and walls or directly through the window when ventilating. You have less control over outdoor pollution, but you can effectively control air pollution in your home with an effective air purifier. An effective, leakage free air cleaner fitted with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter will capture and retain virtually all particulate pollution, including pollen, mould spores, viruses, bacteria, dust mite allergens and disel soot.

If you wake up with a blocked nose only in spring, summer or autumn, then you might have hay fever (also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis). You could be allergic to pollen from trees, grass or weeds for example. Pollen is very light and travels over great distances. It can also be carried on clothes and hair. You might want to keep outdoor clothes out of the bedroom, change clothes when you come in from outdoors and wash your hair to remove pollen if your symptoms are particularly bad.

If your bedroom is damp, it could be that mould spores are causing you to wake up with a blocked nose in the morning. Check the windows do not have any cracks or leaks, and investigate any damp patches on the wall or ceiling. Once you have found the cause for the damp spots and it has been rectified, you can treat mould with Allersearch's Allermold Mould Spray. If you have an en-suite bathroom, you might want to keep the door closed and open a window after bathing or showering, to prevent your adjoining rooms from becoming too damp.

Pet Dander
Pet dander is found in the sweat and saliva of most pets, which can be shed as tiny lightweight particles that travel readily around your home. If your pet sleeps in your bedroom, then you may well wake up with a blocked nose due to an allergic reaction triggered by the pet dander. But pet dander can even end up in your bedroom if your pet never goes in there. Moreover, animal dander persists for many months after an animal has left the premises.

Some of the non-allergic causes that might make you wake up with a blocked nose, are sinusitis, colds and flu, nasal polyps and a condition called vasomotor rhinitis.

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