Do you find that you breathe worse at night, so much so that you dread going to sleep? Labored night breathing could stem from conditions such as asthma, a cold or even allergies and these present a myriad of complications. The tight feeling in your sinuses that often gets worse when you lie down can feel like a nightmare. This could be caused by a number of things but three of the most common reasons are some you may have not thought about.
In the nasal cavity, there are several fleshy walls known as turbinates. During the day as you are active in an upright position, the blood is circulating regularly. However, once you lie down in a position for too long, the blood begins to drain to that area. This results in a blocked nasal passage because the turbinates have swelled. A swollen nasal cavity is a common problem, so much so, that many who are affected by this issue don’t realize that they aren’t breathing normally.
Allergic Rhinitis/Hay Fever
Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, occurs when an allergen enters the airways and causes them to become inflamed. One of the main triggers is grass. Approximately 90% of those with rhinitis allergies are allergic to grass pollens. For many, this seasonal allergy causes breathing problems during the day, but perennial allergies may be present if the symptoms persist into the evening when a person is indoors.
This form of rhinitis can be caused by some of the better known allergens. Obvious triggers include pet dander, mold or indoor plants but there are many that you may not know about. Dried skin flakes, cockroaches, household poisons and even pet urine can contribute to these breathing troubles.
When all has failed, the problem with your breathing may not have as much to do with your lungs as you think. Your esophageal muscles could be causing the trouble in your body as it lays horizontally. One common disorder is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It occurs when food, liquids and other stomach contents begin to flow backwards. Digestive juices rise up into the esophagus, causing pressure in the chest and even the throat. Some studies have shown that reflux may also impact the nose and sinus function leading to blockage and poor function of these areas. In some cases, patients experience these GERD-related nasal, sinus, and throat problems without any “heartburn” or other signs of reflux.
Though your symptoms may suggest different breathing problems, they could be a result of something as simple as laying in the wrong position for too long. It is best to keep a journal of symptoms you can share with your Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. Mark each time you experience breathing difficulties late at night and keep track of anything that could be an environmental trigger. Set up an appointment in New Jersey to find the accurate diagnosis and finally turn your dream of recovery into the reality of sweet dreams.