We’ve had many patients come into our office suffering from a runny nose. Ongoing issues with nasal drainage or rhinitis can make life miserable. Why is it happening and how can you get relief? 

A runny nose happens because the body is trying to eliminate any germs that is irritating the nose or sinus cavity. There are many reasons why your nose may be running.


According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. It could be something you eat, inhale into your lungs, inject into your body or touch.

This reaction could cause coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. In severe cases, it can cause rashes, hives, low blood pressure, breathing trouble, asthma attacks and even death.”

The Common Cold

“The common cold is a viral infection of your nose and throat (upper respiratory tract). It’s usually harmless, although it might not feel that way. Many types of viruses can cause a common cold,” the Mayo Clinic 

Chronic Sinusiti

Typically, chronic sinusitis starts out as an infection from allergies or a cold that just won’t go away. Cilia, the tiny hair like structures that line your sinuses, help mucus move through the cavities in the sinuses. When the membranes in the sinus swell, the cilia are not able to do their job. This allows bacteria to colonize in the sinus cavity.

An allergic reaction can also initiate inflammation, causing swelling of the membranes in the sinuses, keeping the cilia from working like they should, which can cause an infection. Infections can can also be caused by nasal polyps. Not only do they make breathing difficult, they don’t allow the sinuses to properly drain. 

Symptoms of sinusitis include pain, congestion, pressure in your cheeks, eyes, and forehead. Visible swelling has also been known to occur. You also may have a decreased sense of taste and smell. Other symptoms can be, thick green or yellow discharge, fatigue, pain in the upper jaw or teeth.

When to See a Doctor

If your symptoms linger for more than a week or over the counter medication aren’t receiving the pain or congestion, it is time to make an appointment with Orlando Ears, Nose and Throat.

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