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Home Blog Rhinorrhea: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Rhinorrhea: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment

Rhinorrhea is made of two different words, i.e., rhino means nose, and rhea means to flow or discharge. It is the condition in which the patient experiences a runny nose. In such patients, there is a discharge of mucus from the nose. The discharge may be persistent or intermittent. In most cases, it disappears on its own. However, in patients with rhinorrhea persists for more than ten days, this may be due to underlying chronic medical condition. If the patients have fever along with rhinorrhea, they should seek medical consultation. This symptom has also been added to the list of symptoms for COVID-19.

What Is The Prevalence Of Rhinorrhea?

Rhinorrhea is a common problem and is often present in children during the month of winter. Fortunately, the condition is not severe and may treat on its own. However, in many cases, rhinorrhea occurs along with various other symptoms such as cough, sore throat, and headache.

What Is The Difference Between Rhinorrhea And Rhinitis?

Many people are confused about the difference between rhinorrhea and rhinitis. It is important to note that rhinorrhea is a symptom, and rhinitis is a condition. When a person has rhinitis, which indicates an inflammation in the nose, he may have rhinorrhea with several other symptoms.

What Are The Symptoms Of Rhinorrhea?

Rhinorrhea is itself a symptom and accompanies several other symptoms. Some of those are:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Headache due to nasal congestion
  • Pressure building in ears
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Discomfort

What Are The Causes Of Rhinorrhea?

There are several causes of rhinorrhea. Some of them are:

  • Allergic rhinitis: Rhinorrhea may occur due to allergy. The patients may have allergies due to pets or pollens.
  • Non-allergic rhinitis: In such conditions, the patients are not allergic to the trigger. However, the triggers, such as pollution, initiates nasal secretion.
  • Nasal Polyps: Tissues inside the nose abnormally grows in a grape-like pattern. These are known as nasal polyps. Patients may experience rhinorrhea due to nasal polyps.
  • Cold weather: Rhinorrhea may also be due to cold weather. As the person is exposed to cold weather, he may have rhinorrhea.
  • Crying: In some children, crying acts as a trigger for rhinorrhea.
  • Cold and Flu: Cold and flu cases obstruction in the nose through the accumulation of mucus. It causes rhinorrhea.
  • Deviated Nasal Septum: The nose is divided into two equal parts with the help of the nasal septum. This nasal septum is made up of cartilage and bone. In some cases, there is an abnormal deviation of the nasal septum on one side, resulting in nasal obstruction. It results in rhinorrhea.
  • Nasal Tumor: In some patients, rhinorrhea may be due to overgrowth of the nasal tissues, such as cysts or tumors. Although they may be benign or malignant, they obstruct the nose and cause rhinorrhea.
  • Foreign body insertion: Small children contracts rhinorrhea due to the obstruction caused by small objects, such as beads, in the nose.
  • Swelling inside the nose: Swelling of internal nasal tissue may cause rhinorrhea.
  • Infection: Several nasal infections either initiate mucus discharge or causes nasal congestion. Infections also inflame the sinus as well as the adenoids.

How Does The Doctor Diagnose Rhinorrhea?

If you are suffering from a persistent runny nose for more than ten days, you should consult with the best ENT specialist in India. The doctor will look for your symptoms and ask you several questions. He may also perform a physical examination of the nose to identify any possible swelling or inflammation. Further, the doctor may also advise you to undergo several tests to determine the exact reason for rhinorrhea. Once the doctor determines the cause, he initiates the treatment.

What Are The Treatments For Rhinorrhea?

In most cases, very mild or no treatment is required for rhinorrhea. Some of the common treatments of rhinorrhea include:

  • Medications: Several medicines help in managing the runny nose. The most common of them are antihistamines that prevent allergic reactions. The antihistamines may be through the oral route or topical route. When given through the topical route, it may be in the form of nasal drops or nasal spray. In some cases, a corticosteroid may be used to manage rhinorrhea. However, the patients should avoid prolonging the administration of
  • Saline water: Lavage through saline water may also help in clearing the obstruction and manage the symptoms.
  • Surgery: In some cases, when the patient does not get relief from medicines, and there are some anatomical anomalies, such as the deviated septum, the doctor may advise surgery.

What Are The Complications Of Rhinorrhea?

There are several long-term effects in case rhinorrhea is not managed properly. The quality of life of the patients, especially the children, is reduced significantly. It will affect breathing and hampers sleep. Progressive infection may result in complications. There is an effect on the hearing health of the patient.