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Old 06-05-2004, 08:55 PM
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Why do my allergies/sinuses get worse at night?

(Note to moderators: If this belongs in IMHO, feel free to move it - to me, it sounded more like a factual question than an optinion, but I'll bow to your knowledge.)

I've had a bad sinus infection for a month, but it seems to be improving a bit. And my allergies are always bad, year-round practically. I tend to be a bit better during the day, but at night, all hell breaks loose. My sinuses are stuffed up and I can't breathe - no amount of sinus medication or the occasional spritz of nasal spray seems to do any good - they'll open up for about ten minutes, then start to clog up again. It's mostly one side, but it's enough that it bothers me.

So why would my nose get more stuffed up at night? Is there any documented reason why this might happen?

Ava
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Old 06-05-2004, 10:16 PM
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because of dust in your bed. change your bedsheets!
Old 06-05-2004, 10:43 PM
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I have a similar problem.

My allergies affect my right eye. At night when I got to sleep, I can feel the tissue on the underside of my eye start to swell and puff right up. By the next morning my eye is all red, dry, and irritated. It usually takes about 45 minutes for the symptoms to go away. I also get congested, usually on one side, as well.

wesleywesley suggests changing the bed sheets. If I had a nickle for every time I have done that I would be a millionaire. The fact is that it simply doesn't work. Whatever the allergen is, it's NOT something from my bed, as far as I can tell. I'm actually in a worse situation then the OP because eye allergies are way different than normal allergies. They behave quite different and can't even be accurately tested for (All my tests came back negative for every allergen I was tested on.).

I sure do wish I knew what it was that was causing this. It's damn irritating.
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Old 06-05-2004, 11:02 PM
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While not a cause of allergies, one of the mechanisms that cause us to puff up at night is the change in circulation that occurs when we are horizontal. Since the head is now at about heart level, the effects of gravity don't help drain fluids away from facial tissues....so the excess fluids cause nasal membranes to swell, and the face in general. Since the skin around the eyes is especially thin, it shows the effects more than other areas. As the openings into the sinuses are very small (normally less than a pencil lead in size), they are easily closed by any excess swelling of the mucus membranes. If they close, the mucus that is normally produced cannot escape into the nasal passages to be swept by cilia to the back of the throat....and pressure builds up in the sinus cavities themselves.

Of course the opposite is true for the lower limbs; you might notice that the ankles and feet are more slender in the early morning before the accumulation of fluids.....and then during the day, ankles and feet swell. This is the same effect but reversed because the lower limbs are below heart level during the day.

Sinus infections are a real pain...I sympathise with you, and hope things get better soon.
Old 06-06-2004, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wesleywesley
because of dust in your bed. change your bedsheets!
And let's not forget the pounds of stuff in your pillow and mattress, also. Dust mites, feces, etc.
Old 06-06-2004, 02:51 AM
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If you want to find out if you are allergic to dust mite, you can have a skin prick test done. See your doctor about this.

If you are allegic to dust mite, then get a pillow that has a barrier to prevent dust mite allergens getting to you, and stops the mites getting to food (dead skin).

Also get a mattress cover that does the same thing. It acts as a barrier to dust mite allergens.

Not much good abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/helthrpt/stories/s671686.htm ]for asthma [/url] though.


REFERENCE:
Rijssenbeek-Nouwens et al. Clinical evaluation of the effect of anti-allergic mattress covers in patients with moderate to severe asthma and house dust mite allergy: a randomised double blind placebo controlled study. Thorax 2002;57:784-790
Old 06-06-2004, 02:54 AM
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Here is a google of mattress covers. Just in case I wasn't clear on what they are.
Old 06-06-2004, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunstone
While not a cause of allergies, one of the mechanisms that cause us to puff up at night is the change in circulation that occurs when we are horizontal. Since the head is now at about heart level, the effects of gravity don't help drain fluids away from facial tissues...
Sunstone, you seem like a true Doper, and I'm glad you're here. Your explanation makes great sense, and it explains why my nose only stuffs up when I lay down, whether in bed or anywhere else.

Dust mites and bedsheets -- ha!
Old 06-06-2004, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ambushed
Sunstone, you seem like a true Doper, and I'm glad you're here. Your explanation makes great sense, and it explains why my nose only stuffs up when I lay down, whether in bed or anywhere else.

Dust mites and bedsheets -- ha!
Um, wow. Why do I feel the rest of us have just been slammed?

What, you don't believe in dust mites? Is that because their too tiny to see with the naked eye?
Old 06-06-2004, 11:01 AM
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I am sorry to hijack this a little, but I'd like to put in a plug for a neti pot. They sound weird, even gross, but they seem to make quite a positive difference for people suffering from sinus problems. I don't use mine daily; just when I'm stuffy.
Old 06-06-2004, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunstone
While not a cause of allergies, one of the mechanisms that cause us to puff up at night is the change in circulation that occurs when we are horizontal. Since the head is now at about heart level, the effects of gravity don't help drain fluids away from facial tissues....so the excess fluids cause nasal membranes to swell, and the face in general. Since the skin around the eyes is especially thin, it shows the effects more than other areas. As the openings into the sinuses are very small (normally less than a pencil lead in size), they are easily closed by any excess swelling of the mucus membranes. If they close, the mucus that is normally produced cannot escape into the nasal passages to be swept by cilia to the back of the throat....and pressure builds up in the sinus cavities themselves.

Of course the opposite is true for the lower limbs; you might notice that the ankles and feet are more slender in the early morning before the accumulation of fluids.....and then during the day, ankles and feet swell. This is the same effect but reversed because the lower limbs are below heart level during the day.

Sinus infections are a real pain...I sympathise with you, and hope things get better soon.
This actually makes a LOT of sense - it is when I lay down that things get way worse. Ugh. I'm just ready for this to go away. I think my sinus infection is going away because the 'infection' seems to be gone when I blow my nose, but my allergies are crappy still. Unfortunately, it bugs mr. avabeth because I can't open the bedroom window at night - we have an oak tree right outside of our window (if the screen were up, I could put out a hand and touch it) and I am deathly allergic to oak trees - found out it was an oak the hard way one night when after five minutes of an open window, my throat was swelling up.

I guess I'll have to add another pillow - I sleep on one big puffy pillow and one slightly less puffy pillow, but I end up not elevated after about an hour.

As far as the sheets, we change our sheets and wash them at least once a week, sometimes more depending on when we do laundry. So it may be the dust, but I don't think so. And I have a tendency to take naps on the weekends, but they don't get worse during those 1-2 hour naps, so wouldn't they affect me then?

Ava
Old 06-06-2004, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyAsAnOldMan
I am sorry to hijack this a little, but I'd like to put in a plug for a neti pot. They sound weird, even gross, but they seem to make quite a positive difference for people suffering from sinus problems. I don't use mine daily; just when I'm stuffy.
Cranky, I'm pretty sure I know what a neti pot is, but just to make sure - is that the thing that uses salt water to suck it up through the nostrils to flush out the sinuses? I think I've seen them at health food stores.

I've meant to get one of these for years, but I always forget. That's on my list this week.

Ava
Old 02-17-2012, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elza B View Post
(Note to moderators: If this belongs in IMHO, feel free to move it - to me, it sounded more like a factual question than an optinion, but I'll bow to your knowledge.)

I've had a bad sinus infection for a month, but it seems to be improving a bit. And my allergies are always bad, year-round practically. I tend to be a bit better during the day, but at night, all hell breaks loose. My sinuses are stuffed up and I can't breathe - no amount of sinus medication or the occasional spritz of nasal spray seems to do any good - they'll open up for about ten minutes, then start to clog up again. It's mostly one side, but it's enough that it bothers me.

So why would my nose get more stuffed up at night? Is there any documented reason why this might happen?

Ava
Hi Ava,

I have the same problem. It could be that the air in your room is too dry or too cold.
If it is too dry try a vaporizer to place moisture in the air while you sleep.
An air purifier might work too.

If your room is too cold this too could cause your sinuses to swell (from experience) in this case put a small electric heater in your room but be careful
that it is clear of objects so no accidents can happen. Use it safely.

To un-stuff my sinuses I use a netti pot filled with warm water and I to 3 drops of Apple cider vinegar (up to 5 might be ok). You can start out with one drop to see if that works for you.
What you want to do is irrigate your sinuses with the solution. Try to suck up
the solution way up in your upper sinus area. And blow out any mucus you have in there! Apple Cider vinegar is famous for killing bacteria.

Only use this when you need it. I have been using this for 4 months now and my
nasal passages are fine. No problem at all. If you feel irritation stop using it.
Or use it less.
For your allergies benadryl and Musinex D or Allegra allergy works well.
Loradine tablets 10 mg work real well but they are prescription only and only
last about 6 hours.
Hope this helps. (also I am not a doctor just an experienced sinus sufferer)

Oh yes! Try to keep your bedroom free of dust and needless junk. Will help loads.

Last edited by Bandtail; 02-17-2012 at 10:49 PM.
Old 10-23-2012, 05:50 AM
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@sunstone
sounds like it make sense to me. thnx
I would like to add that if u dont take showers or wash your hair before bed, you can transfer allergens from your head to bed/pillow.
Old 02-22-2014, 10:26 AM
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Ava

Ava, you commented that Loradine was rx only.. Loradine is simple claratin
Old 02-22-2014, 10:28 AM
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Ava, you commented that Loradine was rx only.. Loradine is simple claratin

Sorry this posted twice.. don't know how to get rid of

Last edited by CyberSily; 02-22-2014 at 10:29 AM. Reason: posted twice
Old 02-22-2014, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CyberSily View Post
Ava, you commented that Loradine was rx only.. Loradine is simple claratin
When this thread was started and discussed in 2004, Claritin was still prescription only.

It's easy to stumble into old threads here, some nearly 15 years old, especially if you find them through a Google search. Check the date of the original post and the last post before you add any comments - you might be arguing something that's been settled for ten years or changed in the last five.

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 02-22-2014 at 10:32 AM.
Old 02-22-2014, 11:12 AM
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There was a period (about 10 years) when this happened to me too: I'd get sneezy shortly after going to bed, usually around 10 PM. At first I thought it was the books I was reading, but that didn't pan out. My wife is a scrupulous housekeeper; we have dust-mite-proof bed and pillow covers, and there was never any change right after washing the sheets.

I never did figure out what the trigger was. It wasn't every night, just most nights in clumps. My best guess was that it was something that blossomed or bloomed around that time, but that didn't quite make sense either.

Anyway, it stopped. My allergies and asthma have shifted over the decades. I can't tell if it's in response to external changes or if allergies just change over time, but it seems to be the latter.
Old 02-24-2014, 12:20 AM
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When do you usually have sex? In the evening? If you're anything like me, you sometimes get sinus congestion following an orgasm (your own).
Old 04-10-2014, 10:30 PM
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The Real Answer

The original question was "why do my allergies get worse at night".

Like many people my allergies get worse in the evening and make it difficult to breath all night long, but in the middle of the day Iím fine or at least functional. Does this sound familiar?

Our bodies are on cycles, it ramps up in the morning producing the hormones and chemicals we need to function through the day and it ramps down at night since we donít need these hormones while we sleep. Included in these are epinephrine and adrenaline, along with a list of others that I canít remember right now. As your body ramps down it also becomes more receptive to histamine which is part of the immune systemís inflammation response to foreign matter including viruses and bacteria.

Unfortunately in people with allergies the histamine sees pollen (or whatever youíre allergic to) as an invading threat and reacts to destroy it just as it would when you have a cold.
Old 04-12-2014, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antechinus View Post
Ten years later, the link now includes a Reuters article from about six weeks ago:
"Mattress covers may not help with dust mite allergies"
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