Who Is At Risk For Rhinitis
People with asthma are at a higher risk for rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is a common problem that may be linked to asthma. However, this link is not fully understood. Experts think that since rhinitis makes it hard to breathe through the nose, it is harder for the nose to work normally. Breathing through the mouth does not warm, filter, or humidify the air before it enters the lungs. This can make asthma symptoms worse.
Controlling allergic rhinitis may help control asthma in some people.
What Should You Do If Your Nose Is Still Runny Despite Treatment
If a chronic runny nose doesn’t respond to conventional treatments and is significantly affecting a person’s quality of life, procedures and potentially even surgery may be considered.
“We’re of course always trying to find noninvasive ways to treat problems like this, but there are procedures we can perform when needed that are extremely helpful,” says Dr. Takashima.
For instance, cryotherapy or radiofrequency therapy are two in-office procedures that can help treat nonallergic rhinitis.
“In either case, a small device is placed up the nose and right along the nerve that controls mucus production,” explains Dr. Takashima. “Either very cold temperature or radiofrequency energy is then applied to that nerve. The treatment helps prevent the brain from inappropriately triggering the nose to produce excess mucus.”
Both procedures are of minimal discomfort, short and very safe. Dr. Takashima points out that the two procedures have similar efficacy around 65% of patients notice about a 70% decrease in the amount of drainage that they have.
“Our team has spent a lot of time researching and publishing about why chronic rhinitis happens, as well as the effectiveness of these procedures to treat it,” says Dr. Takashima. “What we’ve found is that these in-office procedures aren’t just beneficial for nonallergic rhinitis. They can also help reduce symptoms of allergic rhinitis.”
Treatments For Chronic Congestion
With such a long list of possible causes, how do you get to the bottom of your runny-nose problems? Its tough to diagnose on your own, Dr. Reisman says. If symptoms last more than a month and over-the-counter remedies havent done the trick, its time to see a physician.
Primary care is a good place to start. If your general practitioner cant get to the bottom of it, an ENT or allergist should be your next stop.
Unfortunately, its not always easy to guess whether the problem might be due to an allergy or a structural issue, Dr. Reisman says. You might have to visit both specialists to land on the correct diagnosis.
Treatments vary depending on the cause.
- Antibiotics can beat a chronic sinus infection.
- Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants and nasal sprays can target symptoms of allergies and non-allergic rhinitis.
- Surgery can remove polyps or repair structural problems.
Sotake a deep breath : The cause of chronic sniffling isoften benign and usually treatable, Dr. Reisman says. Talk to your doctor aboutputting an end to your runny nose. Your tissue box might get a little lonely,but your coworkers will thank you.
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How To Stop A Constant Runny Nose
The first step to dealing with a runny nose that won’t go away is to consult your primary-care doctor. He or she can get you started on some of the initial medications and therapies that are often all that’s needed to help resolve symptoms, such as nasal sprays, oral antihistamines and sinus irrigation.
“For instance, these basic medications can help treat allergic rhinitis,” says Dr. Takashima. “Sinus irrigation, or sinus rinse, is another great option since it clears the nose of irritants , such as allergens or environmental pollutants.”
If these frontline chronic rhinitis treatment options don’t work, your primary-care doctor will refer you to an ENT specialist dedicated to treating nasal and sinus issues, also called a rhinologist.
“At this point, we start delving into the potential underlying causes of rhinitis more specifically,” explains Dr. Takashima.
Your ENT will ask you about your symptom history and whether you have other health conditions, using this information to narrow down the most likely diagnosis. For instance, he says that if a patient mentions their nose runs most while eating or exercising, it’s a big clue that nonallergic rhinitis may be the culprit.
“In a case like that, we may try an ipratropium nasal spray, which reduces the amount of mucus your nose produces, right away and see if symptoms improve,” Dr. Takashima explains.
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When Should I See A Doctor For A Runny Nose
Many of us deal with an occasional nasal drip due to a cold or allergies. So when is it time to see a nose specialist? Symptoms associated with clear nasal drip that are concerning include:
- Salty taste in the mouth associated with the nasal drip
- Nasal drip that is excessive and is associated with a cough
- Severe headaches or neck stiffness associated with the nasal drip
- Nasal drip that started soon after a head/facial trauma or sinus surgery
- Excessive nasal drip that occurs unpredictably or is embarrassing
How Do You Treat Runny Noses
Some people think its a part of life, but you dont have to live with a chronic runny nose, Dr. Craig says.
There are steps you can take yourself. This includes:
To schedule an exam with an otolaryngologist, visit henryford.com or call .
John Craig is the Henry Ford Division Chief of Rhinology in the Department of Otolaryngology, and is a co-director of the Pituitary, Skull Base, and Endoscopy Center in conjunction with the Department of Neurosurgery. He sees patients at the Henry Ford Medical Center Fairlane in Dearborn and at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
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How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Runny Nose And A Csf Leak
A runny nose will usually clear up with the assistance of cold and allergy medications. But when it comes to a CSF leak, it isn’t just any runny nose, Dr. Patel said. “Usually with a CSF leak, the dripping is only on one side of the noseand it drips constantly, like a faucet,” Dr. Patel added. “Also, if it has a salty or metallic taste, that’s a sign that it could be spinal fluid.”
CSF leaks can be initially diagnosed as sinus problems or allergies because a runny nose is one of the most common symptoms. Additionally, the clear nasal discharge from a regular runny nose that, for example, might be due to allergies or being out in colder weather can look very similar to cerebrospinal fluid leakage.
Of note, CSF leaks can also occur in the ear, according to an October 2017 study in Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology.”If the leak is in the ear, it can cause hearing loss and a sense that the ear is clogged,” Dr. Patel said. “When the ear gets examined, the doctor sees fluid behind the ear drum.”
Still, Dr. Patel added, “there are a lot of reasons you might have a runny nose or a clogged ear, and this would usually be lower on the list of possible causes.” In other words, you don’t have to be concerned about every sign of allergies or a simple cold as a potential symptom of a CSF leak.
When A Runny Nose Signals A Larger Problem
Anything that irritates your nasal tissues can cause a runny nose. If you have a cold or influenza, a runny nose comes with the territory. Under these circumstances your runny nose resolves on its own as the infection runs its course.
But a runny nose that fails to get better is a warning sign that something else is amiss.
Our skilled otolaryngologists here at Southern ENT see many patients who come in with runny noses that dont seem to get better or that resolve only to return. This is often a sign of something more than the run-of-the-mill common cold.
See a specialist if you experience a chronic runny nose with no apparent cause. When you come to see us at Southern ENT, we perform a comprehensive evaluation to get to the root of the problem. Here, our experts discuss problems that can cause a runny nose.
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Stop That Drip The Causes Of A Runny Nose
Who hasnt had a runny nose? Getting a dripping or runny nose in the cold or when you have a cold, the flu or allergies is common. No matter how many times you blow your nose, the watery mucus continues to drip down from your nose. A runny nose can be triggered by anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissues. It can be caused by colder outdoor temperatures, cold virus, flu, allergies and even some lesser-known culprits.
When a cold virus or an allergen such as pollen or dust first enters your body, it irritates the lining of your nose and sinuses causing your nose to start to make a lot of clear mucus. This mucus traps the bacteria, viruses or allergens and helps flush them out of your nose and sinuses. After two or three days, the mucus may change color and become white or yellow. Sometimes the mucus may also turn a greenish color. All of this is normal and does not mean an infection is present.
A runny nose is not contagious, but it is often a symptom of a condition like the common cold, which can be passed from person to person. A runny nose due to a cold or flu may be accompanied by fatigue, sore throat, cough, facial pressure and sometimes fever. A runny nose due to allergies may be accompanied by sneezing, itchy and watery eyes.
Sinusitis or a sinus infection is a complication of the common cold. It occurs when the cavities around your nasal passage become inflamed. This inflammation also triggers an increase in mucus production in the nose.
Why Is Mucus An Important Part Of The Airway System
Mucus is needed to keep your airway moist and working properly. Not only does mucus stop harmful particles from getting into your lungs, but it also contains antibodies to help destroy bacteria. If too much mucus is produced, your body wants to get rid of it, leading to coughing and spitting the extra mucus out and blowing it out of your nose.
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When To Call Your Healthcareprovider
Seek medical care if you have a runny nose with:
- Bloody nasal mucus or nosebleeds.
- Dripping that tastes metallic or salty.
- Mucus that changes from clear to yellow or green.
- One-sided running or dripping.
Most of the time, the cause of a chronic runny nose is allergies. But talk to your healthcare provider if you have a chronic runny nose and havent been diagnosed with allergies. Finding out the cause and getting treatment if needed will help you feel your best again.
Runny Nose Vs Stuffy Nose
A runny nose and a stuffy nose arent the same, though its easy to confuse the two terms. Heres how theyre different:
- Rhinorrhea : Also called nasal drip, rhinorrhea causes clear or colored mucus to leak out of your nose. With rhinorrhea, youre probably reaching for the tissues, but you can usually breathe clearly through your nose, says Dr. Sindwani.
- Nasal congestion or nasal obstruction : If you have nasal congestion, its harder to breathe out of one or both sides of your nose. You may snore at night or feel like your nose is plugged. A stuffy nose may, or may not, come along with a runny nose. Many colds cause both rhinorrhea and congestion, notes Dr. Sindwani. But a blockage or swelling inside your nose might cause nasal congestion alone, without any mucus.
Common causes of nasal congestion without the dripping include:
- Deviated septum: With a deviated septum, the cartilage and bone inside of your nose are off-center. The septum may block part of the airflow in your nose.
- Enlarged or swollen turbinates: Turbinates are thin, bony structures inside of your nose. Your turbinates may interfere with nose breathing if they swell after a bad cold, sinus infection or allergies.
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When Is A Runny Nose Considered Chronic
Rhinitis occurs when your nose is irritated or inflamed for one reason or another and, in response, produces more mucus. This mucus is meant to help trap and clear out whatever is causing the irritation, but it’s also what leads to a runny nose and the accompanying symptoms.
Fortunately, this is usually temporary and not a huge disruption in your life. As the inflammation resolves, so does the runny nose.
Chronic rhinitis, on the other hand, is when the nose is constantly triggered, irritated or inflamed, to the point that the runny nose doesn’t seem to go away or is always lingering in the background. This can certainly lead to significant quality of life issues, Dr. Takashima notes.
“Chronic rhinitis is when these symptoms persist for months to even years, despite at least a month of using medications to treat the issue,” explains Dr. Takashima. “It’s the people who keep facial tissue in their pockets all the time and are constantly blowing their nose. Sometimes they’re even embarrassed to go out in public because of it especially nowadays since, due to COVID-19, people are self-conscious about coughing, clearing their throat and blowing their nose around people.”
Preventing A Runny Nose
A runny nose cant always be prevented, but with the right precautions, you can decrease the chances of developing one. To prevent a runny nose, its important to prevent potential irritants that could inflame your nasal passages. For example, if you have a known allergy, try to avoid exposure to that allergen so your nose doesnt start to run. You can also take allergy medication preventatively before the exposure.
Preventing illnesses like the common cold is another way to prevent a runny nose. Doctors recommend practicing routine, thorough hand washingespecially before eating or touching your face. Its also helpful to avoid contact with anyone who might be sick.
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Treating A Runny Nose From A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, also called sinusitis, happens when fluid doesnt leave the sinus cavities, allowing viruses or bacteria to develop. Most often, sinus infections are viral in nature, but they can also be caused by bacteria.
Sinus infections can feel a lot like colds along with:
- Jaw or tooth pain
If a doctor suspects you have a sinus infection, he or she may take a sample of your mucus to determine if its viral or bacterial. You may get a prescription for antibiotics if your sinusitis is bacterial. Usually, people start to feel better within a few days of taking antibiotics.
For a sinus infection caused by a virus, the best course of action is plenty of rest and fluids, as with a cold. It may also be helpful to treat your runny nose with an OTC decongestant or steroid nasal spray.
Tips To Relieve Your Runny Nose Or Nasal Congestion
Got a case of the sniffles? Chances are that your nose is running faster than a waterfall. Or maybe your nose feels all stuffed up, forcing you to breathe out of your mouth. Or worse-both. A runny nose and nasal congestion are both uncomfortable upper respiratory symptoms with their own underlying causes. But once they start, you want relief, fast.
A runny nose is a discharge of mucus from the nostrils. Itâs the result of excess nasal mucus production. The excess nasal mucus leads to watery nasal secretions that flow out of your nostrils or drip down into your throat.
Nasal congestion is due to the inflammation of the linings of the nasal cavity. Swollen nasal passages constrict air flow, making it harder to breathe through your nose. The inflammation also makes it harder to get mucus out of your nose, so you may also have a build-up of thick, dry mucus, as well. It causes you to feel stuffed up, which is why itâs also referred to as a stuffy nose.
The common cold and the flu are often the culprits of a runny nose and/or nasal congestion,1 but they can both also be caused by allergies.
These are not the only symptom of the cold or flu. You may also experience other associated symptoms, like sneezing, coughing, chest congestion, a sore throat, headaches, and body aches.
Find out how to relieve your upper-respiratory symptoms like nasal congestion and runny nose so you can feel better fast.
Avoid liquids like caffeine that can cause dehydration.
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When To Call The Doctor
The most important thing you should tell your doctor is if youve been having any fevers, pain, or loss of smell. This can point to potentially more serious causes of a runny nose that should be investigated further. Dr. Khokhar
A runny nose from a viral infection usually gets better on its own. However, if you start running a fever, notice colored or thick drainage, or your symptoms havent improved on their own, call your doctor. You might have a bacterial infection, which will need to be treated with antibiotics.
You may also want to see your doctor if youre not sure whats causing your runny nose. By discussing your history of symptoms and possibly being tested for allergies, you may be able to identify the cause.
If over-the-counter remedies arent working, the doctor can also discuss prescription options.