What Causes Blocked Nose & Dry Mouth on Waking Up?

Many of us must have encountered multiple medical conditions and scenarios while waking up in morning such as restlessness, swelling in extremities, breathlessness, etc. Sometimes, it is even difficult to move legs and hands that give a feeling of being paralyzed, which resolves gradually on its own post few minutes of waking up. Among many such examples is the condition that is characterized by blocked nose and dry mouth.

Blocked nose and dryness in mouth can be experienced for some time after waking up or it may last throughout the entire day. In some people, dryness appears episodically and causes discomfort while in some it stays dormant. This condition of dry mouth is medically termed as xerostomia.

What Causes Blocked Nose & Dry Mouth on Waking Up?

What Causes Blocked Nose and Dry Mouth on Waking Up?

Causes of Dry Mouth on Waking Up

There are multiple factors that cause the dryness in mouth commonly involving the environmental issues, habitual practices and human anatomical or structural anomalies like deviated septum, enlarged tonsils that obstructs the throat. Many a times, it is also associated with some medical sickness.

As per normal human physiology, on inhalation, the air enters the nose through nostrils and gets warm by nasal sinus present in the nasal cavity. The nose performs mechanism of purifying the atmospheric air. This warm air then enters the throat and lungs. Any obstruction in this pathway due to anatomical anomaly or medical conditions causes difficulty in breathing and hence leads to mouth breathing instead of nose. Since the warm air is entering the mouth directly, it causes dryness in the oral mucosa leading to dryness of the oral cavity.

Nose breathing is the correct way to breathe; however, mouth breathing is also normal in occasions like heavy exercising, acclimatization etc.

Habitual mouth breathing can lead to respiratory tract infections due to infected and unpurified air entering in the respiratory tract causing damage to the oral and respiratory soft tissues. Mouth breathing by-passes the mechanism of air purification leading to various health problems. Also in children, habitual mouth breathing can lead to facial deformity during growth and development and mal-alignment of dentition.

The other reasons for dry mouth include:

  • Medical conditions mainly autoimmune disorders like Sjogren’s syndrome (disorder of salivary gland) causes dry mouth due to deficiency of saliva production.
  • Syndromes like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematous causes xerostomia.
  • Psychological conditions like stress and anxiety also lead to dry mouth.
  • Drinking enough water and following appropriate breathing technique can reduce the dryness.

Causes of Blocked Nose on Waking Up

Blocked nose or nasal congestion in morning after waking up is another commonly observed symptom post waking up. It mainly occurs due to multiple reasons.

  • Allergy: One of the major factors is the exposure to allergens in night causing allergy. These allergens activate the capillary and blood vessels to release fluids that block the nose and causes discomfort in breathing. This is often associated with headaches and irritation. Exposure to allergens can be indoor and outdoor.
  • In-house exposure to the dust mite, while cleaning the house, leads to allergy. Most commonly these mites reside in mattresses, room carpets and bedsheet. Hence, it is exposed more during the night time. It is recommended to maintain the house and regular changing of bedsheets and mattresses to avoid such exposure.
  • Dander from Animals as a Reason for Blocked Nose: Blocked nose is also commonly seen in people having pet animals at home. Animals like cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, birds, hamster etc. release dander from their skin, which look like human hair dandruff molecules. Dander is the skin flake that is shed by pet animals. It contains microscopic proteins that cause allergic reactions in humans. These proteins are also excreted in animal’s urine, saliva and sweat and are airborne. Dander sustains in the air for several hours and sometimes even for months. The inhalation of these particles and direct contact with these animals causes allergies. Cat dander is the most common allergen. Along with nasal congestion, these allergies can also lead to asthma and its exacerbation, skin allergies and conjunctivitis. It is advisable to keep the house clean and use air purifiers regularly and restrict the animal to enter the room to minimize the allergy. Also bathing pet animal could mitigate the risk of exposure.
  • Pollen Grains Can Cause Blocked Nose: Pollens in autumn, spring and summer seasons also leads to allergies and blocked nose. Seasonal allergies are also called hay fever. The pollens are also light air suspended particles and can be inhaled. Pollen can enter the rooms through windows and can be carried away in cloths. Hence, it is advisable to remove the outdoor cloths out of the room to avoid exposure and inhalation.
  • Pollutants: Increasing air and traffic pollution is also the major cause of blocked nose. The nitrogen oxide and other pollutants in air irritate the respiratory tract and releases histamines causing nasal congestion.
  • Medications Causing Blocked Nose: Various medications can be used to treat nasal congestion; most common is the antihistamines and steroids like nasal spray.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 27, 2022

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