A stuffy nose can have over 20 different secondary or lifestyle causes including diet (mainly sugars and starches or carbs), allergies, stress, a lack of exercise, poor sleep habits, and so forth.
The other (superficial) causes of a stuffy nose can be classified in the following groups:
– Too much sputum or mucus (caused by cold or flu, hay fever, or an allergy).
– Inflammation or swelling of the tissues of the mucosal surfaces in the nose (causes include common cold or influenza, allergic reaction to medication, upper respiratory infection)
– Formation of an air-filled cavity within a turbinate in the nose (caused by concha bullosa)
– Tissue overgrowth (this can happen due to deviated septum, nasal polyps, empty nose syndrome).
However, these health conditions have causes too, and in all these cases, the ultimate cause is the same. The real or primary cause of the problems with the stuffy nose is too low body oxygen reserves. All my patients who complained about the stuffy nose always have less than 20 seconds for the body oxygen test. This is because most modern people have abnormal breathing patterns. (For clinical research and exact numbers, check web pages of my main website NormalBreathing.com.)
This is easy to confirm since body oxygenation and blood flow to sinuses drops due to the following factors:
– Sleep (since breathing gets heavier during sleep or at night, and body O2 content drops after going to bed, and especially during early morning hours)
– Meals (meals in general, and especially overeating causes heavy breathing and this reduces brain and body O2 content and circulation often causing headaches too)
– Presence of carbs (simple sugars and starches) in one’s diet
– Stress, anxiety, and autoimmune reactions or allergies (since these factors increase minute ventilation and causes lower CO2 levels triggering vasoconstriction and reduced blood circulation in all tissues of the body, sinuses and the head included).
What happens when you experience anxiety or headaches? Your breathing gets heavier (hyperventilation) and this reduces body O2 content. (Do not believe in a myth that breathing more air or deep breathing is good for health!)
The image above actually shows oxygen levels in the brain (and sinuses too). One minute of deep breathing (of hyperventilation) reduces blood flow or brain circulation and brain oxygen delivery nearly 2 times! This happens due to losses in CO2 that is the most potent known dilator of blood vessels (vasodilator). This is in fact the key reason why people faint due to overbreathing in 2-3 minutes.
Chronic diseases make heavy respiration at rest even worse: people start to inhale and exhale too much air, up to 2-3 times more than the medical norms. These are the reasons why various conditions, and rhinitis or hay fever as well, can lead to the blocked nose.
It is not a surprise too that headaches can often coincide with more nasal congestion, especially at night. Too deep respiration constricts blood vessels due to CO2 losses. Even Wikipedia does not know these simple facts.
The video below explains the key physiological cause and the best remedy that helps to get rid of problems with sinusitis or nasal congestion very quickly or in less than 1 minute.