How Does Your Nose Work To Protect Your Body
Your breathing process starts in your nose. Air gets into your lungs through your nose. It helps filter, humidify, warm or cool the air that comes through it so that the air that gets to your lungs is clean.
A special lining of mucosa, or a moist tissue, covers the area inside your nose and consists of many mucus-producing glands. As bacteria, allergens, dust or other harmful particles come into the nose, the mucus traps them. Mucus contains antibodies, or enzymes, which kill unwanted bacteria and viruses.
The mucosa lining also includes cilia, tiny hair-like structures. The cilia are continually in motion and move the collected harmful particles and the mucus that they are trapped in through your nose into the back of your throat. Its then swallowed and destroyed by the acid in your stomach. Mucus and particles can also be coughed up or sneezed out.
When outdoor temperatures turn cold, the pace of this process slows down. Many times, the mucus stays in your nose and then drips or dribbles out.
When Does A Runny Nose Need To Be Treated By A Healthcare Provider
Again, your runny nose should go away on its own. However, if the symptoms are severe, they last more than 10 days, or if youre taking care of a child whose drainage only comes from one side, gets green or blood or foul-smelling, then you should see a healthcare provider.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
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. It usually doesnt mean theres an infection or something serious. Remember to use good hygiene practices to prevent a runny nose or similar issues. See a healthcare provider if your or your childs runny nose seems unusual.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/19/2021.
What Helps A Runny Nose
When your nose is running, youll be reaching for the tissue box almost constantly. But regular tissues can leave your nose feeling chapped and raw. So, reach for Kleenex® Soothing Lotion tissues instead, made with moisturizing lotion to help protect your skin. These 3-layer tissues offer strong protection for your nose, are fragrance-free, and are the only tissues with a touch of coconut oil, aloe and vitamin E to help protect and nourish skin by locking in moisture. They feel so good on your nose youll never want to use anything else! When its cold and flu season, be sure to stock up on Kleenex® Soothing Lotion tissues Americas preferred lotion tissue* — your nose will thank you!
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How To Get Rid Of A Stuffy Or Runny Nose Instantly
Its not much fun to have a blocked nose. You cant breathe properly and sleeping can become a painful experience and the only thing you can think of is how to get rid of your stuffy nose quickly.
A runny nose can be just as annoying, even embarrassing, especially when youre surrounded by people and all your attention is put on constantly blowing your nose and cleaning your face. In addition, sinus congestion and stuffiness can affect the pressure in your ears and cause popping, clicking or crackling sounds. The feeling of fullness in the ears can be annoying and you may also have a sensation that there is water in your ears.
To deal with nasal congestion, most people reach for over-the-counter nasal sprays. But there are disadvantages to using chemical substances. To begin with, these sprays are drugs, so they come with side effects and can be addictive.
Its much better to master an approach that is less invasive and, in many cases, more effective. The simple technique I present in this article is based on acupressure. It uses gentle pressure to four points of the face to help you clear your stuffy nose fast.
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Symptoms Of Runny Nose:
- A runny nose, stuffy nose, or congested nose are often seen together. When the tissues lining the nose become swollen, it causes congestion, making it hard to breathe. This swelling is caused by inflamed blood vessels.
- A runny nose caused by allergies may be accompanied by itchy, watery eyes and sneezing.
- A runny nose caused by flu or cold may be accompanied by sore throat, fatigue, cough, sometimes fever, and facial tightness.1
Treating Other Causes Of A Runny Nose
If you have a runny nose but dont think you have a sinus infection, cold, or allergies, it may be due to an irritant. If this is the case, try removing the irritant first. You can also try some of the common OTC medications used for allergies.
You may want to try home treatments for a runny nose, such as:
- Nasal irrigation: Products like a Neti pot or sinus rinse bottle may help to clear your sinuses without requiring medication.
- Hot herbal tea: Some teas, like chamomile and ginger, contain anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties.
- A hot shower or steam: This is a great runny nose remedy if your runny nose is related to congestion.
- Essential oils: Eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree , and thyme oils may have decongestant properties. You can use these by inhaling them directly or adding them into a diffuser or bath.
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Use A Humidifier And Stay Hydrated
Dry air can dry out your nasal passages which leads to irritation. Adding a little extra moisture to the air using a humidifier especially in the cold winter months can help keep your nose happy and leak-free. When the air in your home is dry, its important to remember to stay hydrated as well by drinking plenty of fluids, which can help alleviate and prevent congestion by making sure your mucus doesnt become too thick and sticky.
How Do I Get Rid Of My Runny Nose What Medicines Should I Try
Prescription medicines, such as antibiotics are not needed to treat a runny nose, which usually gets better on its own. Sometimes, an over-the-counter decongestant medicine may help adults, but might not be appropriate if you have certain conditions or take other medications. Check with your healthcare provider to see what over-the-counter medicines are appropriate for you.
Typically, the best treatment for a runny nose includes:
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.
- Use a saline nasal spray to help relieve symptoms. Limit the use of decongestant nasal sprays to no longer than a few days, as instructed on package labels.
- A cool-mist humidifier at your bedside can combat congestion worsened by dry winter air.
Unless recommended by your healthcare provider, dont give over-the-counter cold medicines to a child under age four.
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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.
What Is A Runny Nose Exactly
The phrase “runny nose” is used to describe excess nasal drainage, per the Mayo Clinic. The thin, usually clear discharge is called rhinorrhea. But “consistency can vary, and the discharge is sometimes a thicker mucus,” Anthony LaCava, MD, a fellow of allergy and immunology at Penn Medicine, tells Health.
Keep in mind that you might not just be dealing with mucus dripping out of your nose. “Not only can excess mucus drain from the nose, it can also drain down the back of the throat,” Sophia Tolliver, MD, MPH, clinical assistant professor of family medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells Health. This, she points out, is called post-nasal drip and can happen at the same time as a runny nose.
A runny nose “usually occurs as a result of rhinitis, which is inflammation of the nasal tissues,” George Scangas, MD, an otolaryngologist at Mass Eye and Ear, tells Health, adding that there are a slew of things that can lead to rhinitisfrom temperature changes to certain infections.
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Drink Plenty Of Water
How To Tell The Difference Between Sinus Congestion And Head Congestion
The main difference between sinus congestion and head congestion is the duration of symptoms. Sinus congestion may cause a sinus infection, which comes with symptoms lasting up to four weeks. Talk to your doctor if you think you may have a sinus infection. Head congestion as part of a cold is usually gone in seven to 10 days.
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Apply A Warm Washcloth To Your Face
What Causes Runny Nose
A runny nose can be caused by:
- Common cold
- Sinus infection2
Congestion and runny nose are often seen together. Usually, the congestion goes away within a week.1
Congestion can also be caused by:
- Using nasal drops or sprays for more than three days that were bought without a prescription
- Hay fever or other allergies
- Nasal polyps
- Vasomotor rhinitis
- Gustatory rhinitis 1
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Sometimes A Runny Nose Will Just Run Its Course Other Times You Should See A Doctor
Korin is a former New Yorker who now lives at the beach. She received a double B.A. in International Relations and Marketing from The College of William & Mary and an M.A. in Interactive Journalism from American University. Korin is a health reporter who has been published in The Washington Post, Prevention, Cosmopolitan, Forbes, Womens Health, and Yahoo, among others. When shes not working, Korin enjoys biking, eating tacos, and trying to keep up with her kids. She can pretty much always be found at the beach.
Odds are you’ve had a runny nose at some point in your life. That means you know how annoying it can be, forcing you to have a tissue within close reach at all times.
Because they’re a nuisance to deal with, once one develops, you probably want to know why you have a runny nose in the first place, how you can get rid of it, and what you can do to prevent it from happening in the future. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about a runny nose, including when you should go to the doctor.
Steer Clear Of Allergens
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How To Get Rid Of A Stuffy Nose Instantly
Follow the instructions and see how your nose reacts.
- Use your fingertips to apply gentle pressure.
- Use round movements the movement is a pushing-releasing type of rotation.
- You should not feel any pain.
- Do the cycle 3 times.
- Point 1 is located on a cavity at the corner of the nostrils its the bottom part of your nostrils.
- Gently push the nostrils together with a rotating movement. As you do this, you almost close, and then open the nostrils.
- Perform the movement 10 times.
- Make sure not to push on the nose cartilage. Youre only pressing the bottom part of the nostrils.
- Point 2 is located just below the corner of the eyes, near the nose, where the tears come out.
- Perform a gentle rotation at this point 10 times. Dont lift your fingers, but just move the skin, so you feel the corner of your eye as you push.
- Point 3 is behind your earlobe, at the bottom part of the ear, in the cavity just below the cartilage.
- Push and release the point 10 times, without applying pressure to the cartilage. The rotation you do is not wide, but a subtle movement.
- The last point is the earlobe itself.
- Gently massage the earlobe 10 times.
After going through the above four acupressure points three times, you should feel immediate symptom relief. For best results, repeat the procedure again after 10 minutes.
I would love to hear back from you about the results of using this simple technique.
Treatments For Runny Nose
Theres no hard-and-fast rule for how to stop a runny nose. Runny nose treatment will depend on whats causing it. Theres also no specific runny nose medicine. The key is to stop whatever is irritating your nose and causing it to run and treat the symptoms in the meantime. Here are some of the most common causes of a runny nose, along with their corresponding treatment options:
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How To Stop Post
Your nose is almost constantly producing mucus. In fact, it makes approximately a quart of it each day. Mucus performs necessary functions including trapping bacteria and moistening the airways, but overproduction can lead to some annoying side effects.
Most of the time, the excess liquid combines with saliva and drips down the back of your throat, and you dont even notice. But when production of mucus increases, it can begin thicken and build up in the back of the throat.
How To Treat A Runny Nose
A common way to treat a runny nose is to take antihistamines.
When you get a runny nose, your body is actually producing chemicals called histamines. This chemical is usually released when your body tries to combat infections and allergies. Histamines are responsible for causing inflammation, and antihistamines work to block the effects of it.
Antihistamines can give you relief from the sneezing, runny nose and coughing. You can get over-the-counter antihistamine medication at convenience stores, supermarkets and pharmacies.
Clarinase, Zyrtec, Clarityn and Telfast are some examples of over-the-counter antihistamines, and you can buy them without a prescription from a doctor. Do note that these antihistamines can make you drowsy, so it might be a good idea to take them before you go to bed.
Other types of over-the-counter medication can include decongestants. Decongestants can help combat the stuffiness and blocked nasal passageways. These decongestants can be in the form of nasal sprays, medicated oils or even humidifiers.
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When Should I Contact A Healthcare Provider To Treat A Runny Nose
A runny nose will typically go away on its own. However, a healthcare provider should be contacted if:
- The symptoms continue for more than 10 days and there is no improvement.
- Symptoms are severe or unusual.
- Drainage from your young childs nose comes from only one side and is green, bloody or foul-smelling, or if you have other reason to believe there may be a foreign object stuck in their nose.
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical examination to make sure the runny nose is not a symptom of a more serious condition.