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Runny Nose

A very common condition that we experience more often in winter or after having spicy food, etc. is – your nose drains and you need to constantly check the clear mucus from flowing out with the help of a tissue. This is nothing but “runny nose” or technically known as “rhinorrhea”.

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Symptoms associated with Runny nose

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Causes of Runny Nose

The clear, thin and transparent mucus is produced when the tissues and blood vessels present in the nose are inflamed.

There are numerous causes that can lead to runny nose:

Allergies: pollen, dust, pets, peanuts, food (seafood, eggs, milk, soy, spicy foods, etc.), mold, mite, perfume, sprays, smoke, tobacco, latex, etc.

Infections and Inflammation: influenza, hay fever, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), common cold, sinusitis, asthma, Churg-Strauss syndrome, etc.

Other factors: Nasal polyps, deviated septum, cluster headache, overuse of decongestants.

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When to see a doctor

You can wait for a week if the symptoms are very normal, i.e. without fever or flu. In the meantime, try the home remedies as explained below. If you sense fever accompanied by cough, headache or any other abnormality (blood in mucus), then do not delay for a health check up.

Secondly, if your kid or infant is having runny nose, then get a medical check-up done immediately before the problem aggravates more.

Diagnosis for Runny Nose

Your doctor will ask you several questions regarding your medical history and food habits. He/she will check your throat and nose, “listen” to your lungs and heart with the help of a stethoscope and closely observe your breathing.

You may need to undergo a blood test for diagnosis of infections and even a lung function test to rule out probability of allergies and asthma.

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Treatment for Runny Nose

The treatment obviously depends on the diagnosis results. If allergy and infection are the reasons, then your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics for a certain period. Antihistamines and zinc supplements may also be advised.

Apart from these, you may also be asked to consume cough syrups and use decongestants to alleviate the symptoms.

Home therapies to get rid of runny nose

  • If your doctor has found out the element you are allergic to, then stay away from it by all means or take protection from being exposed.
  • Inhale the steam that comes out from boiling water
  • Drink warm soups with ginger and herbal teas
  • Irrigate your nose by rinsing with saline water
  • Keep yourself  or your kid protected from cold

You need to be conscious about that triggering factor behind runny nose. Follow your doctor’s advice and complete the medicine course to get complete relief and improve your immunity.

Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 11, 2015