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A runny nose occurs when the nasal tissues are irritated or inflamed. A cold or allergic reaction can cause it. For most people, a runny nose disappears after a few days depending on the cause.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, a runny nose can last for up to 3 weeks. However, the annoying symptoms can stick around for much longer. This condition is known as chronic rhinitis, and it can be unbearable. If a constant runny nose plagues you, you should explore the following treatments.
Intranasal corticosteroids are the recommended primary treatment for mild nasal diseases. They relieve nasal congestion by limiting the inflammation of cells. This action reduces the production of a group of protective proteins known as cytokines. Consequently, less mucus is released, clearing up a runny nose. Popular corticosteroids are sprayed into the nose. Do this to one nostril while closing the other, then repeat the process.
Most corticosteroid products come with an age restriction for children. For expecting mothers, you should always look for the Food and Drug Administration pregnancy safety ratings. Like most medications, corticosteroids come with side effects. Headaches, nasal dryness, and throat irritation are the common ones. According to studies, there is concern that long term use may interfere with growth in children.
ClariFix is a procedure that uses frigid temperatures to ease chronic rhinitis. The cold disrupts nerve signals that cause excessive production of mucus. Before the procedure, local anesthesia is administered to prevent any discomfort. Once you are numb, a cooling probe is placed inside the nostrils to rectify the out of balance nerves. It only takes a few minutes to complete the treatment.
Patients who have tried ClariFix report feeling a cooling sensation and a slight pressure. There will be temporary congestion after the procedure, but that is quite normal and will fade quickly. Any other pain or discomfort you might feel will be eased with a saline spray. You are also advised not to blow your nose for one week after the procedure. Expect the runny nose to clear within two to six weeks. The main selling point for this procedure is that it has no downtime. You also don’t have to worry about any side effects.
Histamine plays a vital role in controlling physiological functions. It’s also responsible for nerve stimulation, mucus secretion, and muscular contraction. Antihistamine prevents flu-like symptoms by blocking histamine receptors. They are available over the counter, either as oral or intranasal.
Oral antihistamines have been found to cause more significant fatigue and sedation than intranasal. This effect is attributed to the fact they easily cross the brain-blood barrier. Intranasal antihistamines deliver a more concentrated dose but to a targeted area. Other common side effects to expect are headaches, sedation, and nasal irritations.
Decongestants are another way of dealing with a runny nose. The drugs clear out nasal congestion by inhibiting the adrenergic receptors. They work by constricting the vessel and relieving any blockage in the nasal cavity. Just like the antihistamines, decongestants can either be oral or intranasal. However, decongestants don’t treat an allergy-induced runny nose. Instead, they merely suppress the symptoms caused by an allergic reaction.
They should only be taken once every 4-6 hours. Some of its side effects include dizziness, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Although decongestants are available over the counter, several states have restrictions on quantity and access to them. They should only be taken in close supervision. Some decongestants are not recommended for people with underlying conditions such as heart diseases, glaucoma, diabetes, and hypertension.
Immunotherapy refers to the intentional introduction of allergens into the body to stimulate an immune response. Studies have shown that subcutaneous immunotherapy increases tolerance to lymphocytes and reduces the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Unlike other treatments, immunotherapy cures the disease rather than just the symptoms.
The entire process can take up to five years to complete. As a result, this method of treatment should only be used for people with chronic rhinitis. It also carries a significant health risk. In extreme circumstances, the allergen may cause a severe allergic reaction. A condition termed as anaphylaxis.
6. Home Remedies
Not all runny noses require a trip to the pharmacy. Some can be contained using ingredients from your kitchen. Some devices help make these natural treatments a little easier. The following are some home remedies you should try.
- Neti Pot – This technique involves the use of a container resembling a teapot. Saline water is delivered through one nostril and out the other using the spout. This clears out any sinus blockages.
- Facial Steam – Inhalation of steam cuts the recovery time by half. All you have to do is heat some water, place your head over the steamy water and inhale. You can add essential oils for better results.
- Hot Shower – A hot shower works just as well as a facial steam. While in the shower, take the time to inhale the steam for quick relief.
- Fluid Intake – Drinking a lot of fluids helps in thinning the mucus. This makes it possible to expel and decongest the sinuses. If you are dehydrated, the mucus gets thick and harder to remove. Not all liquids are suitable. Beverages like alcohol or coffee have the opposite effect. You try hot teas, preferably herbal.
A constant running nose can make it hard to do anything, including eating, working, or even sleeping. Fortunately, it is completely treatable. It is advisable to seek help from a physician before taking any medication. Apart from Clarifix and natural remedies, all the other treatments have side effects. Don’t let a running nose stop you, get treatment today.