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Runny Nose

runny nose man blowing noseWhat is a Runny Nose?

Runny nose, scientifically known as rhinitis, occurs when the body produces an excess amount of mucous in response to harmful subtances. This action causes mucous to discharge from the nose and may run down the back of the throat in order to prevent these substances from causing infection or irritation.

Runny nose may be triggered by other conditions such as allergies, a cold or the flu, infections or particular medicines. Runny nose can be a symptom of withdrawal from opioids and other drugs or may be a result of tobacco use. Chronic rhinitis may be caused by a deviated septum, septal perforation or nasal polyps (sac-like growths in the nostrils).

Runny nose may cause side effects of:

  • itchiness, redness or irritation of the nose
  • watery eyes
  • headache
  • post-nasal drip (including sore throat and coughing)
  • sneezing

How is a Runny Nose Treated?

Symptoms of a runny nose including inflammation may be reduced through several at-home methods. Persons with a runny nose should stay hydrated and may use a saline nasal spray, vitamin supplements, and decongestant medicines to treat their condition.

Chronic runny nose should be treated only as instructed by your doctor and may require the use of steroids and other anti-inflammatory medications.