When your nose runs uncontrollably, it could because of a cold or allergy. Mucus dribbles out of the nose as a protective reaction---the body is trying to expel dirt, particles, germs and allergens. Though this is a sign of a properly functioning immune system, a runny nose can be embarrassing and annoying. There are a few things that you can try to stop your nose from running constantly.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Sources of vitamin C
- Spicy foods
Determine if your runny nose is due to an allergy or because you are coming down with a cold. If the runny nose comes with a sore throat, cough and body aches, this is a symptom of a cold. If your nose is running without any other symptoms, or you have itchy eyes and stuffiness, this may be an allergic reaction.
Build up your immune system if you have a cold. Take vitamin C and drink orange, lemon or cranberry juice throughout the day. Try a vitamin C-rich drink mix or tablets. Have a cup of hot green tea twice per day. All of these substances contain antioxidants to help fight your cold. Take over-the-counter cold and flu medication to help relieve the runny nose symptoms of your cold.
Ask your doctor whether you should try saline nasal irrigation to clear up the runny nose more quickly. In this procedure (which can be done at home) a saline solution is poured into the nose, fills up the sinuses, and then trickles out of the other nostril, clearing up the mucus. (See "Resources" for more information.)
Identify the source of your allergy if that is your problem. A constantly runny nose is commonly a symptom of an airborne allergen, such as pet hair or pollen. Clean your house or room thoroughly. Run an air filter in your home to help remove the allergens from the air. Avoid going outside in high pollen season (varies by state---see "Check Pollen Count" under "Resources" to look up your area).
Take a decongestant or antihistamine to help clear up your nasal passages if an allergy is the issue. Your doctor may also prescribe a medication such as Singulair or Advair to relieve the symptoms.
Eat spicy foods in the case of an allergy. Allergist Gordon Raphael of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases suggest that spicy foods, such as hot sauce, can help free up whatever is inside of your nasal passages that is causing your nose to run incessantly.
Tips and warnings
- Blow your nose every time you feel it running, as many times as necessary, even when it seems futile. The mucus build-up has to be released from the passages in order to stop the nose from running.
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