An overview of a constant runny nose that produces a clear liquid and mucus in adults and toddlers, and that sometimes accompanied with cough and sneezing. An understanding of the cause of a runny nose but not sick and ways on how to stop a runny nose.

constant runny nose

constant runny nose causes

Constant Runny Nose Clear Liquid, Mucus

Runny nose is the excess discharge produced by the nasal and its adjacent tissues and the blood vessels in the nose. The drainage can be ranging from a clear fluid to a thick mucus. A Runny nose discharge may run out of your nose or even down the back of the throat.

The terms rhinorrhea and rhinitis are always used to refer to runny nose. Rhinorrhea is a thin and relatively clear nasal discharge. On the other hand Rhinitis refers to the inflammation of the nasal tissues, which all results to a runny nose.

Nasal congestion may at times be accompanied by a runny nose.

A Runny nose can be caused by anything that can irritate or inflame the nasal tissues. Infections such as common cold and influenza or allergies and other various irritants can all lead to a runny nose. Some people may be having a chronically constant runny nose for no reason, this condition is known as nonallergic rhinitis.

A runny nose may also be caused by polyps, a foreign body, a tumor or migraine.

Each and every day, the glands in the lining of the nose, airways, throat, intestinal tract and stomach all produce mucus. The mucus is a thick and wet substance that usually moistens areas it is produced and also helps trap and destroy the foreign invaders like the bacteria and viruses before they can get into the body and cause infection.

Its not easy for one to notice the mucus from the nose as it mixes with the saliva and drips harmlessly down to the back of the throat and is swallowed gradually and continuously throughout the day.

Its only when the body produces a lot of mucus than the usual or a mucus is thicker than the normal that it become noticeable. The Excess mucus may come out from the front of the nose in a form of a runny nose. When mucus gets down to the back of the nose to throat, it is known as a postnasal drip.

Allergic reactions may too cause to runny nose, more so in the cases of hay fever also referred to as allergic rhinitis. In rare cases, a runny nose is a sign of a serious injury to the head because of trauma to the brain. Overuse of the nasal sprays, especially decongestants, is also another cause of a constant runny nose.

A Runny nose alone is not serious but it may be a sign of a serious head injury or trauma. If someone is experiencing clear fluid that is running out of the nose and in the absence cold or flu symptoms or because of a head injury or trauma, it is advised to seek an immediate medical care.

A constant Runny nose may sometimes accompany some other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying condition, disease or disorder. The Symptoms that do affect the respiratory system can also involve the other body systems.

A Runny nose may accompany some other symptoms that are affecting the respiratory system, this includes:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Wheezing, this is the whistling sound that is made when breathing
  • sneezing
  • Cough that becomes more severe
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing up a clear, yellowish or a light brown coloured  mucus

The Other symptoms that can occur along with a constant runny nose and affecting the other body systems may include;

  • Body aches
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion or sometimes loss of consciousness for some moment
  • fatigue
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Malaise
  • headache
  • Fever and chills
  • Fainting or change in the level of consciousness

In other cases, a constant runny nose can be a symptom of a serious life threatening condition that can either be of severe head injury or trauma and this is to be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. One has to seek an immediate medical care if any of the signs and symptoms below are seen or felt;

  • A Change in the mental status or a sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delusions, hallucinations, lethargy, and delirium
  • A Clear fluid discharge that comes from the nose and  in the absence of a cold or flu symptoms
  • A Deformity of the head
  • Fainting or a change in level of consciousness
  • Severe headache
  • excess bleeding
  • Persistent vomiting

Causes of a runny nose

A Runny nose is as a result of the discharge secreted by mucous membranes that are lining the inside of the nose. The Allergic reactions are the common causes of a runny nose. Such reactions can be caused by pollen or hay fever, animal dander, medicines or foods.

The Inflammation of the nose or the rhinitis is a common cause of a constant runny nose. The Other common causes can also include the common cold or viral respiratory infection, influenza and sinusitis. Sinusitis is the inflammation or infection of sinuses. Inserting of objects into the nose can produce a runny nose too.

Here are some common causes of a Runny nose:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Influenza or flu
  • Sinusitis or the inflammation or infection of sinuses
  • Common cold or a viral respiratory infection
  • Hay fever or an allergic reaction from animal dander, cosmetics, dust, or pollen
  • A Postnasal drip from the sinusitis or upper respiratory infection like the common cold
  • Overuse of the  nasal sprays
  • Medications that treat conditions like high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction
  • Putting Objects in nose, this is common in children
  • Structural abnormalities like the polyps and tumors
  • Injury or trauma to the head

Constant Runny Nose but Not Sick

runny nose an sneezing

runny nose an sneezing

When one is having a constant runny nose but not sick can be annoying and embarrassing. There are different reasons of the causes for a runny nose when one is not sick. This is known as rhinitis, majority suffer from this but it’s not that dangerous but just annoying and embarrassing.

We first have to understand why you having a running nose. Not only the nose serves the function of smelling, the nose serves to protect the body from the potentially harmful substances like the viruses or bacteria as well as some foreign objects such the particles of dust and smoke.

A runny nose starts when the tissues and the blood vessels in the nose react because of something in the environment and thus produces fluid or mucous for protection of the body against them.

For the patients who suffer from a persistent constant runny nose, it is recommended they do follow the steps bellow;

  1. They have to Identify and avoid the triggers and irritants. The Common triggers can include environmental allergens such as pollen and dust, odours or perfumes, irritants such as cigarette smoke. The other causes can include spicy food, temperature changes and for some other strong emotions.
  1. Clean and dust regularly. The Dust can accumulate and trigger symptoms. The dust can bring about the dust mites. This are tiny insects that do live on the fiber of carpeting, mattresses, furniture, and bedding. They do not bite or cause pain in humans but they are a very potent allergic trigger for most of the people.
  1. A part from the regular cleaning, one has to consider washing the bedding in hot water on a weekly basis and use dust mite covers on the mattresses and pillows. An air filter can also be very helpful to improve the air quality in the home as well as regularly changing the heating and the air conditioning filters.
  1. Taking care of the nose. A dry nose may reactively overproduce the mucous and continuously run. To counter this, one can opt for nasal saline rinses or a nasal lubrication which can be bought at the chemist. Keeping a well hydrated nose can also thin mucous and also help to moisturize the nasal passages.

If the above do not work, medications may now be considered for symptomatic relief after a consultation and evaluation with a doctor. This can either be inhaled therapies or oral medication.

There exists different medicated nasal sprays, this includes inhaled corticosteroids and the inhaled antihistamines. The choice of either of them depends on the symptoms, other medical conditions and the medications.

These medications are always safe but they have some side effects include nasal dryness and irritations. If they used for an extended period of time, they may cause a paradoxical rebound increase in the production of mucous.

On Oral medications, only a few oral therapies are recommended for an isolated runny nose. If it’s related to an allergy, antihistamines like the Reactine or Benadryl can be considered to be taken. These can be bought at a chemist and usually come in drowsy and non-drowsy formulations.

If the runny nose is related to an inflammation or congestion then an anti-inflammatories or decongestants may be considered.If the runny nose is persistently unilateral or flowing from one nostril only and there is some blood in the mucous, or occurs following a head injury, its recommend you see a doctor immediately so as to rule out a more serious cause.

Constant Runny Nose in Adults

A persistent rhinitis or the inflammation of the nasal tissues is most commonly the cause of a chronic constant runny nose. This can affect any person at any age, but it occurs most commonly in adults.

The rhinitis is even becoming more predominantly in elderly people. Most of the people suffering from this condition always have a persistent cold. The colds are viral infections which usually last for about a week. This therefore means that a constant runny nose in the adults is not caused by the common cold but caused by other factors.

Allergy is the most common cause for the chronic nasal discharge in the adults. The Allergy tends to reoccur in families and people with the history of asthma and eczema and are also at a higher risk of developing allergies. Those people with allergic rhinitis are also at a higher risk of asthma and eczema.

The Other factors that may lead to a constant runny nose among the adults include nasal irritants, chronic sinusitis, tumors and nasal polyps, and also structural defects such as a deviated septum which is associated with problems in breathing.

Constant Runny Nose Toddler

A constant runny nose among children, or the pediatric chronic is as a cause of several factors. This is caused by allergies, infections or irritants and also presence of a large adenoid tissue that is at the back of the nose.

The thick mucus in the nose usually slows down the ciliary hair cells that are found in nasal and sinus cavities, where they assist to flush out the allergens, irritants and also pathogens that are responsible for infections.

The use of NeilMed Irrigation System is recommended to flush out the mucus and also facilitate a better breathing. This also helps the ciliary hair cells to serve their purpose better. Nasal irrigation means rinsing of nasal cavity using salty water.

Antibiotics and allergy medications can be used so as to get rid of constant runny nose in the toddlers. It is important to eliminate any allergens in the toddler’s bedroom.

Constant Runny Nose Sneezing

how to stop constant runny nose

how to stop constant runny nose

A Persistent rhinitis causes sneezing and a blocked, itchy and a constant runny nose.  Allergy is the most common cause but there are other non-allergic causes towards this. The Treatment can include avoiding the things that may cause an allergy, an antihistamine and a steroid nose spray.

Rhinitis is the inflammation of the nose. The Common symptoms are sneezing, a blocked nose, a constant runny nose and an itchy nose. The Less common symptoms can include an itchy throat, face pain, loss of smell and itchy and watery eyes.

A Persistent rhinitis means that the rhinitis symptoms has continued for a long time. It is rhinitis symptoms that lasts for more than an hour and occurs on most days. There is However a great variation. The symptoms may be present in some part of the day in most days and in some cases the symptoms can come and go.

The severity vary too. Some people may have a mild nose irritation that comes and goes and on the other hand, some people may become distressed by their varying daily symptoms. A Severe symptoms may affect work or school and a normal social life.

The causes of a persistent rhinitis is divided into two. That is allergic and non-allergic. The allergic cause is the most common.

Persistent rhinitis is commonly caused by an allergy to house dust mite. What causes an allergy, that is the house dust mite or dead animal skin is usually known as allergen.

  • A house dust mite is a very small creature that is always present in most of the homes. It usually lives in the bedrooms, on the mattresses, carpets and pillows as part of the dust. It causes no harm but most of the people are allergic to the droppings of the mite.
  • On Pets, their flakes of their dead skin and also its urine and saliva do cause allergy. Animals such as a cat, horse, dog, rabbit, and guinea pig are also the cause of allergy in some cases.
  • The Other allergies are not common. An allergy to some other things at work can sometimes occurs. An example is like to laboratory animals, or to a latex, to the flour or wood dust, or some other chemicals. This can be suspected if the symptoms ease at weekends or during holidays when one is not working.

Hay fever are usually caused by an allergy to the pollens, is also another type of an allergic rhinitis. This may however tends to be seasonal and not very persistent as only occurs on particular period in the year. An example is the grass pollen season which occurs during the late spring and early summer.

Symptoms of the allergy in the nose are as a result of the immune system reacting to the allergen such house dust mite droppings or the pollens.

The Cells that are in the lining of the nose releases histamine and some other chemicals that when they come in contact with the allergen, they cause an inflammation in the nose, that is the rhinitis.

Persistent non-allergic rhinitis

There exists different other causes or triggers for the persistent rhinitis. These causes can lead to a rhinitis in their own way but they can cause make the symptoms be worse if one already has an allergic rhinitis. They include:

  • An Irritation of the nose by strong smells, smoke, chemicals, fumes and also the changes in the temperature or humidity.
  • If one has an overactive thyroid gland, this may also lead to rhinitis too.
  • A Hormonal changes at pregnancy or during puberty can also cause nose symptoms.
  • Some a side effects from certain medicines cane cause rhinitis but this is a rare cause. These can include beta-blocker medicines, contraceptive pill, aspirin and also other anti-inflammatory medicines.
  • Foods and drinks that are mainly hot and spicy food or alcoholic drinks. The Sensitivity to some food colourings or preservatives can also be a cause.
  • Emotional stress or sexual arousal can also affect the nose.
  • Rhinitis that occur because to the overuse of the nasal decongestant sprays, this condition is known as Rhinitis medicamentosa. The nasal decongestant sprays are usually used to help a blocked nose and reduce the swelling of blood vessels in the nose. If they one uses it for more than six days, the swelling may recur again.

In some other people, there is no specific trigger for the persistent rhinitis that can be found. This is known as idiopathic rhinitis. Idiopathic simply means that no certain cause has been found.

Constant Runny Nose on One Side

A constant runny nose is most common and it is mostly associated with a cold, allergy, virus or a sinus infection. Cerebrospinal Fluid is the clear fluid that is produced by the choroid plexus that are in the ventricles of the brain.

It always acts as the shock absorber and its work is to cushion the brain and spine. The Cerebrospinal Fluid usually circulates in them in the sub-arachnoid space.  A communication with this space through the Arachnoid, Dura that is a thick fibrous layer and a bony defect in the skull base, into the Paranasal sinuses, can cause a leakage of clear fluid and that comes from one side of the nose.

Constant Runny Nose and Cough

A Postnasal drip usually brings an annoying feeling that can make one to constantly clear the throat. And because the liquid in throat irritates and contains inflammatory substances, the postnasal drip then trigger a cough.

This usually gets worse during the night. The postnasal drip is the most common cause that brings about chronic cough. The Excess mucus that is running down the throat can also make one feel hoarse and brings about a sore throat.

How to Stop Constant Runny Nose, Get Rid

A constant runny nose is as a result of the excess nasal mucus production. This leads to a watery nasal secretions and is discharged from the nostrils or can drip down to the throat. The cold and flu is the most common cause of a constant runny nose, but it can also be as a result of allergies. Here are some steps that one can take to feel better fast:

Drinking plenty of fluids

Drinking lots of water can help thin the mucus and allow it drain faster from the nose and sinuses. Drinking a hot cup of tea or milk can also bring about a soothing and warming effect.

Get plenty of rest

When one is not feeling well, it is important to get plenty of sleep so that the body can heal. Resting gives one the needed break from blowing the nose every time.

Application of a warm compress

By applying a warm compress over the nose and the forehead may help in relieving the sinus pressure and congestion. By doing this, it will help relieve the nasal congestion and also help to stop the runny nose.

Getting steamy

By try sitting in the bathroom with the hot shower running. One can also breathe in the steam that is from the hot water. Inhaling of warm steam can also soothe the mucous membranes lining of the nose.

Use of saline nasal spray

By using a saline nasal spray three times a day may help to stop a constant runny nose and also make it easier to breathe. The saline solution helps soothe the mucous membranes in the nose.

Use of a humidifier

By use of a humidifier can be a better way to add moisture back in your environment. By Doing can help keep the nasal passages moist and allowing the mucus to drain faster, thus one gets rid of the constant runny nose faster.

Further references;

  1. 10 Reasons You Have a Runny Nose: http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/cold-flu/10-reasons-runny-nose.htm
  2. Persistent Rhinitis: http://patient.info/health/persistent-rhinitis
  3. Postnasal Drip: http://www.webmd.com/allergies/postnasal-drip
  4. How to Stop a Runny Nose Associated with Cold or Allergies: http://vicks.com/en-us/treatments/how-to-treat-a-cold/how-to-stop-a-runny-nose
  5. How to Get Rid of a Runny Nose? (Fast and Overnight): http://lethow.com/health/get-rid-of-a-runny-nose-fast/