Do you awaken every morning with your nose blocked up with hard goop or crud that can’t be blown out?

Even in the absence of a cold, a person can suffer from a blocked nose every single morning, and it can even interfere with the sense of smell and taste, and impair optimal oxygen flow through the nasal passages during breathing.

Causes of Morning Nose Gunk

Allergies can be a cause of a morning blocked nose, says Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology. Allergies increase mucous production, blocking up the nose.

“This can be from poor nasal clearance, nasal blockage and nasal dryness,” says Dr. Silvers.

Chronic sinusitis can also be a culprit, causing greater mucus production overnight, leading to this most aggravating problem.

Solutions to a Morning Blocked Nose

Use a humidifier; this will moisten the bedroom air. By next morning, if you have any gunk up your nose, it should at least be softer and more easily blown out.

“Regular use of nasal rinses can prevent mucous buildup,” says Dr. Silvers.  This is most effectively done with a neti pot, and this is sold at common drug stores.

Neti pot. Shutterstock/kavzov

“Use the neti pot with saline rinses designed just for irrigating the nose. If allergies are the cause then allergy medication can be helpful.”

Do not aggressively pick up through your nose to extract the hard mucus, as this can result in bleeding and possibly irritation to the nerves inside the nasal passages. Too much irritation may even result in a headache.

An NYC expert in ear, nose and throat care, Dr. Silvers has been named among America’s Top Physicians and Surgeons in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology numerous times since 2003.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer. 
Top image: Shutterstock/ReaLiia