My girl friend always has a problem with a runny and stuffy nose in the morning. This sort of problem has been going on for years and I have no idea what it is. During the day she is fine, but when she sleeps at night, and wakes up in the morning, she constantly has to blow her nose. Sometimes her throat hurts too. Can this be an allergy? Or something else? Thanks....
A runny stuffy nose is a common symptom of vasomotor rhinitis. The cause of this problem is not well understood, but it is not caused by allergies. Increased blood flow in the nose causes inflammation and thus the stuffy nose. Increased "leakage" from the blood vessels in the nose results in a runny nose and drainage down the back of the nose into the throat called postnasal drip.
A nasal wash helps remove mucus from your nose and sinuses. This can temporarily decrease the runny nose. Please read our nasal wash treatment information at http://www.nationaljewish.org/disease-info/treatments/alt-ther/nasal-wash.aspx to learn more about this technique. Share this information with your doctor to see if you would benefit from this daily treatment. A nasal wash is most helpful when done daily. The best time of day to do a nasal wash is before using any nasal spray so the nasal spray works better. A prescription antihistamine nasal spray, like Astelin
here are some questions that might help shed some light on the situation.
location: If she sleeps in a different room or house does she still have the problem? This might inidicate an allergen present in the house. If the allergen is airborne like pollen sleeping in the same neighbourhood might still have the same results.
time: if she sleeps or lays down in the same place during the day does she have the same problem?
I am allergic to maize and often had a bad time after dinner until about 2 am. That because we used pasta sauce containing maise. There was a time correlation (happened at night) but it was the consumption of the allergen that was time related.
There are other sorts of allergies: food, mold spores, pollen, cat/pet dander, dust mites, ... do you have a cat? Is the problem less when the sheets are freshly washed?... there are lots of things to consider but hopefully once you get a lead you can follow it to a resolution. How about seeing an allergist? Although when I saw one I told him I had food problems but he did some other tests and charged me $500 to tell me I had a pollen allergy - which I already knew. groan).
What you're describing does sound very suggestive for allergies. If your friend has allergies to dust and/or dust mites, you have to launder the bedding weekly in VERY HOT (140 degree) water to kill the mites. Does taking antihistimines &/or decongestants like Claritin and/or Sudafed help stop the nasal problems & symptoms?
An allergist could certainly help run some tests to figure out whether your friend has allergies & help pinpoint the triggers & help her minimize her exposure to them. A less expensive option is trying to be a detective on her own.
Here's a great website on allergies for
her to read & consider.
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