Nasal congestion is not the most well-known consequence of drinking, but it is by no means a rarity. A large survey of Danish residents showed that almost 8% of people experienced upper respiratory symptoms, including a runny nose, after drinking alcohol. Most often, they were reported by people suffering from allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal mucosa) or bronchial asthma. Allergy symptoms after drinking alcohol were reported by 40% of asthmatics.
The most common alcoholic trigger for the common cold is wine, and 8% of respondents in a German survey did not tolerate it. The main symptoms of a “wine allergy” were skin redness and a runny nose. However, other drinks can also affect the nose. Cases of worsening of the course of rhinitis from beer have been described.
Scientists suggest that the cause of such a cold is not an allergy to alcohol, but intolerance to other components of alcoholic beverages. For example, these can be the sulfites found in wine. There is also hereditary alcohol intolerance, one of the symptoms of which may be nasal congestion. It is distributed mainly in Asia.