Why Does My Nose Get Congested When I Drink Wine?
- Posted on: Oct 11 2023
If you’ve ever noticed your nose gets more congested after you have a glass of wine (or other alcohol), you’re not alone! This is a fairly common symptom of alcohol consumption.
The reason your nose gets congested when you drink wine is related to the effects alcohol has on your blood vessels.
When you have alcohol, it causes the blood vessels throughout your body to dilate or expand. This is called vasodilation. As blood vessels expand and swell, they transport more blood. This is especially evident on the surface of the skin and is why people tend to get more flushed or red when they drink alcohol.
This swelling occurs in the nose and causes the lining of the nose and turbinates (filters of the nose) to swell up. This produces the symptom of congestion.
Alcohol also can cause a histamine reaction (allergic reaction) in the nose which can cause congestion or a runny nose. Some ethnicities, such as Asians, have inherited genetic traits that increase their risk for this reaction as well as other symptoms.
Studies show that red and white wine are more likely to create nasal congestion symptoms, so avoiding this type of alcohol may help.