Nose, Runny (Runny nose)

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Overview

Mucus overflowing or streaming out of the nose is known as a runny nose. It may be brought on by a number of factors, including weather, cold, flu, or allergies. The excessive nasal discharge causes a runny nose. If you have nasal congestion, the discharge might come from the nose, the back of the throat, or both. You may or may not have nasal congestion if you have a runny nose.

Rhinorrhea refers to a thin, usually clear discharge caused by rhinitis which is an inflammatory illness that affects the nasal tissues and hinders breathing.

When a cold virus (or an allergen like pollen or dust) first enters the body, it irritates the lining of the nose and sinuses (air-filled pockets around the face), causing the nose to produce an excessive amount of clear mucus. This mucus covers the nose and sinuses, trapping germs, viruses, and allergies and allowing them to flow out.

The mucus may turn white or yellow in color after 2-3 days. It may become green at times.

The underlying cause of a runny nose may be treated, or drugs can be used to alleviate the symptoms.

Antibiotics are not required to treat a runny nose since the condition normally resolves on its own. Adults may benefit from the use of an over-the-counter decongestant on occasion, but if you have certain medical conditions or are taking other medications, it may not be recommended. To stop a runny nose, the following are the most effective approaches: rest and stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids. The use of a saline nasal spray may assist in the reduction of discomfort.

If symptoms are severe, and you have a constant runny nose for more than 10 days, or you are caring for a child whose drainage is only coming from one side, becomes green or crimson, or has an awful odor, get medical advice.

Causes

Anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissue might cause a snotty nose or clear runny nose. A runny nose may be caused by a variety of things, such as the common cold and flu, allergies, and other irritants. Non-allergic rhinitis, also known as vasomotor rhinitis, is a disorder in which some people have recurrent runny noses for no apparent cause.

Polyps, a tumor, foreign material, or migraine-like symptoms may all induce a runny nose.

The common causes are discussed below:

Allergies: They are caused by a person’s immune system reacting to a specific chemical, or allergen, in their environment. Among the most frequent allergies are pollen, animal dander, and dust that cause a runny nose.

Cold: A multitude of viruses cause the common cold, with the rhinovirus being the most frequent. A cold may cause a runny nose, which is annoying. Colds usually become worse on the second or third day and may continue for up to 3 weeks in rare situations.

Sinusitis: Sinusitis is a sinus infection that occurs when fluids in a person’s sinuses are unable to drain, enabling germs to thrive and infect the body. Although a virus is the most prevalent cause, it may also be caused by a bacterial infection in rare instances. The majority of people who suffer from cold also have infected sinuses. Along with a runny nose, sinusitis causes other symptoms similar to those of a cold. Antibiotics may be recommended if the disease is caused by a bacterial infection.

Rhinitis: Non-allergic rhinitis is a disorder that causes rhinitis symptoms without the presence of allergens as a contributing component. Such symptoms include sneezing and a congested or runny nose. It may be triggered by changes in the weather, exposure to caustic smells of cigarette smoke, and variations in air pressure.

Other conditions that are also associated with the snotty or constant runny nose are:

·         Asthma

·         Covid 19 infection

·         Dry air

·         Influenza

·         Tobacco smoke

When to see a doctor

A runny nose will usually clear up on its own. However, a physician should be consulted if any of the following issues arise:

·         Symptoms have persisted for about a week with no signs of relief

·         Severe or uncommon symptoms are present

·         If the small child’s nasal discharge is green, red, or foul-smelling

If a foreign item is stuck in the nose, get medical help right away.

A physical examination will be performed by the healthcare professional to see whether the runny nose is suggestive of a more severe ailment.

If all the possible causes of the runny nose are ruled out but the nose continues to flow, you should contact a physician.