nighttime treatment for stuffy nose

jennDecember 20, 2005

My husband has a terrible problem with his nose getting stuffy at night, whether or not he has a cold. He uses a saline nasal spray every day and it seems to provide only temporary relief. This seems to be a relatively new problem of the last several months or so.

We're talking about getting a humidifier for the bedroom. Is there a better treatment or should he see a doctor? Could it be allergies? He has a cold now, so now it's even worse.


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Has he tried those nose strips? They are sticky strips you can get in any drugstore/ supermarket. They help keep open the nasal passages while you sleep.
I have to use them all the time or i wake up with nasty pounding sinus headaches. - Ellen

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 9:33AM
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The nasal spray may be drying his nose out and this is a rebound sort of thing. Yes, it could be allergies. If your house is dry because of central heating, a humidifier could do wonders. There is a product, AYR, that is a Saline Nasal Gel with Aloe that is, for a better description, artifical muscous. It comes in a small tube. It works wonders with a dry nose. It may be all he needs.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 9:53AM
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My husband was "addicted" to those saline nasal sprays for many years. An ENT finally got him to stop. He went to see if there was anything that could be done for his chronic stuffy sinuses and multiple sinus headaches. But he didn't have any polyps or anything that the ENT could do to help. He also had an MRI to rule out deeper problems- nothing found. Now the doctor thinks it must be allergies.
We have a humidifier in the bedroom, which is great, but I don't think it helped with his sinus issues.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 9:59AM
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Thanks for your comments. I suggested to him that his regular daily use of the spray is the culprit, but he insists it is not. We've been remodeling for the past year and the dust has been, well, a real problem. One of the workers sanded a large area in our bedroom and the sand dust went EVERYWHERE -- he didn't warn us about covering up our bed or anything!!!! Maybe he is just reacting to something in our room.

Thanks again,

    Bookmark   December 23, 2005 at 12:42AM
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I recently got a humidifier for my bedroom and it has helped my very stuffy nose. A friend also swears by an ionizer he uses in addition to a humidifier. If there is still dust from the sanding job be sure to vacuum the walls and all the corners of the room good. Use the vacuum to get dust off furniture and the mattress. Wash the bedclothes, including the bedspread. Change the furnace filter. Repeated use of a nasal spray can definitly contribute to the problem.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 9:46AM
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Years ago, I became addicted to nasal spray. I ended up quitting cold turkey. All I can remember is not being able to breathe for 1 week. I think in all these years in between, I might have used nasal spray only a handful of times.

DH on the other hand will use it daily and think nothing of it. It definitely added to my problems of not breathing properly. But once it was out of my system, I had no more problems with being able to breathe normally.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 4:24PM
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I would suggest a humidifier and a HEPA filter air cleaner. Wash all the linens, wipe down the walls and all surfaces and vacuum well. And YES, he does need to stop using the nose spray daily! It is addictive and that is why he only gets temporary relief now.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 9:14AM
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He's not going to stop using the spray, he already said that. "It's just saline", he says. His nose gets dry and if he blows it then it bleeds so the spray helps that. I suggested he stop using it, but he won't.

I'll look into a hepy filter for the room. We're considering wood flooring for the bedrooms, that would cut WAY down on the dust too.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and comments.


    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 12:40PM
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Has he tried Vicks salve in each nostril? And the plus is it keeps the nostrils from drying out. It works for my DH.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2005 at 9:05PM
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Thanks Mona, I'll look into that!

    Bookmark   January 1, 2006 at 9:43PM
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Daily use of SALINE sprays is not a problem ... it's the ones with decongestant that can cause dependencies.
Definitely clean the room of all the dust.

Try the humidifier in the bedroom at night, and change pillows and mattress pads. He may be allergic to something in them.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 5:32PM
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As for the dry nostrils, I use a q-tip dipped in Vaseline and smear it all over the insides of my nose before I go to bed. It works wonderfully, haven't had a nosebleed in a long time.


    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 6:09PM
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Just a thought. Do you have feather pillows? He needs to sleep on something that is non-allergic. Also, some pillows have a good collection of dust mites in them. Have you tried new pillows?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 6:24PM
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Heres a weird one for you, I just went to the Dentist and had Xrays, he asked me if my nose was stuffy at night, it seems that your sinuses run thru your gums and a crooked tooth or swelling can cause this problem also, I had an infection and it was causing it for me....Tell your Husband to stay away from Nasal sprays...they can do more harm than could eventually throw your chemical balance out of whack...another long story...

    Bookmark   January 4, 2006 at 12:48PM
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*Part of my DH's stuffiness was cured with the Sharper Image Ionic Breeze air purifier. He sometimes uses "Ocean", which is SALINE solution only, which I believe Jenn is referring to, and that cannot harm, as it's only salt water, not a decongestant. My DH's problem with stuffiness and congestion are not all solved though. It's either genetic or an anomoly -

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 12:06PM
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Take it from an allergy sufferer. He would most likely benefit from a visit to an allergist and a prescribed nasal allergy spray such as Flonase or Nasonex. They don't cause re-bound. The over the counter stuff such as Afrin or Dristan etc are the culprit for that problem. Perhaps taking an antihistamine at bedtime would help too. What's his nose like when he wakes up? Is he stuffy during the day or prone to sinus infections?

    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 4:11AM
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I had sinus problems for years. Suffered with stuffy noses, trouble sleeping, and headaches. I got addicted to nose spray,then quit. Tried every over the counter med there is. Decongestants made me cranky and I now have high blood pressure (hypertension) so I can't take them anymore. ENTs prescribed anti-histamines,but that got expensive. Then I bought a Neti pot. It's a little china cup with a spout that you use to pour water pour in one nostril, and it runs out the other. It cleans the sinuses and moisturizes. And all it uses is warm water with (optional) a little salt. Looks and sounds gross, but it's really simple and painless. And now I can breathe all year round. I don't know how to post a link, you can find one by googling Neti. And mine cost about $15. It works so well I would pay $1500 for another if it breaks!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2006 at 3:48PM
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I had the allergies and used the sprays, but it seemed wierd how it only happened that at night I would get even stuffier!

WELL! Old age collapses some nerve endings in your nose and sort of closes of your passages. After I had my deviated septum fixed with surgery, and as part of that fix, she fixed my TERMINATES (that's the scientific term), I started breathing much better through the night. Yay!

AND. Not only that, I just plain old started to be able to breathe better! All of a sudden, my old appetite returned!
I especially remember that I had lost my interest in eggs, but then, on being able to smell them again, it's all that I wanted.

Go to a good ENT specialist. they are not all alike.

I have done very well by "shopping" for doctors... ask them a few pointed questions and see if they can help you with your specific problem!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 11:46PM
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