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How to stop a runny nose from a cold

Updated December 14, 2018

When your nose is runny, the obvious solution is to get a tissue and blow it. While this does stop the problem, if you have a cold or allergies, it is only a temporary solution. Besides, too much blowing will make your nose red and raw, and people may start to avoid you for fear of getting germs. There are better and more long-lasting problems to alleviate a runny nose besides going through an entire box of tissues.

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  1. Determine what is causing the runny nose. Even though you may think your runny nose is due to a cold, if it lasts for several weeks, you should see a doctor because you may have nasal polyps. If allergies are causing your runny nose, you can get prescription or over-the-counter daily medications that will reduce your symptoms. If you have a cold, there are over-the-counter medications for that too.

  2. Irrigate your nasal passages. Clear out your nasal passages with a saltwater solution. You can buy nasal sprays or you can make your own by adding a half teaspoon of salt to one cup of water, putting the solution into an eyedropper and putting a few drops into your nose. Breathe deeply and repeat.

  3. Use a neti pot. With this procedure, you hunch over a sink and pour saline through your nostril. This is flushing out your nostrils, and you will immediately breathe freer.

  4. Obtain a humidifier. Dry air irritates already inflamed noses. Breathing moist air created by the humidifier may even prevent future colds.

  5. Take antihistamines. They will dry up your nose, but may cause drowsiness, so take caution if you plan on driving or operating heavy machinery.

  6. Tip

    The difference between saline sprays and saline irrigation from a neti pot, according to npr.org, is that saline sprays will loosen things up, but irrigation will flush them out.

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About the Author

Laura Agadoni

Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.

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