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How to Get Rid of a Runny Nose

Updated on October 16, 2013

Runny nose, run away!

A runny nose is a big annoyance! You feel stuffy and you need to bring tissue everywhere you go so you can blow your nose whenever you need to. But did you know that mucus, albeit gross, sticky, and all, actually does a lot of good for you? This slimy material produced inside your nose prevents germs, bacteria, pollen, and dirt from getting into your lungs. But sometimes, mucus just seems to drip non-stop. Read on to find out how to get rid of a runny nose.


What Causes a Runny Nose?

A runny nose can be caused by several different reasons:

  • Cold or flu (influenza) – When you are suffering from a cold or flu, your nose works harder and produces more mucus to keep the invaders out of your lungs. This helps ensure that the germs do not cause more harm to your body and make your illness worse. But as you know, more nasal discharge means a runny nose.
  • Allergies – Your runny nose may be caused by allergies to things like pollen, dust, and animal hair. Your body may consider these things as germs and so the brain orders your nose to produce mucus to combat these invaders. This is especially true for kids.
  • Cold weather – When the weather is cold and you take a walk outside, your nose tries to warm up the cold air before it enters your lungs. To do this, the blood vessels inside your nostrils dilate, causing an increase in blood flow. But this also leads to more mucus production.
  • Triggers – Your body’s response to some irritants can trigger a runny nose. Some of these irritants include tobacco smoke, strong odors, detergents, car exhaust, and spicy foods.

How to Get Rid of a Runny Nose Fast

Here are simple steps you can do to relieve the symptoms and stop a runny nose.

Blowing your nose gently is the easiest way to get rid of a runny nose.
Blowing your nose gently is the easiest way to get rid of a runny nose. | Source

1. Blow your nose.

That’s right, blow your nose. This natural reaction may very well be the easiest way to get rid of a runny nose. Make sure to do it gently and use a tissue!

2. Steam.

Taking a hot shower can make you feel more comfortable when you have a runny nose. You can also boil water then perform steam inhalation.

3. Antihistamine.

If you experience a watery discharge, it is likely that your runny nose is caused by an allergy. Consult your doctor and have him check if an allergic reaction is positive. He may recommend you to take an antihistamine to treat the allergy. Make sure to follow the label instructions.

4. Suction bulb.

To remove secretions from infants with a runny nose, you can use a soft rubber suction bulb.

5. Decongestant.

There are over-the-counter oral decongestants that may help you relieve a stuffy nose. Be careful not to use nasal sprays for more than 3 days as these can make the situation worse.

6. Exercise.

If you do not want to use decongestant medications, try your best to exercise regularly. This serves as a natural decongestant.


How to Relieve Symptoms and Post Nasal Drip

Symptom relief is the primary runny nose treatment. In some cases, you may experience post nasal drip, which is when mucus builds up in the back of your throat. A runny nose can also be accompanied by a sore throat. Try these measures on how to prevent a runny nose and keep your nose healthy.

  • Keep yourself hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids helps maintain moisture in your nose and sinuses. This contributes a lot to the ability of your body to fight infection.
  • Avoid triggers. As mentioned above, triggers such as cigarette smoke and dust can cause a runny nose. Even if you are not allergic to such triggers, it is best if you keep yourself away from them.
  • Use a humidifier. A humidifier will help keep the air and your nose moist. Make sure that you keep your humidifier clean to avoid breeding of fungus.
  • Use a saline nasal spray. This also helps keep moisture in your nose. It has also been found to help make your nose more capable of resisting bacteria.


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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Blow your nose? Now why didn't I think of that? Actually this reminds me of the "how to" searches I saw where one of the searches was for "how to be." Duh! Just breathe in and breathe out! Simple! Good job!

    • Cliff Mendrez profile image
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      Cliff Mendrez 5 years ago from Philippines

      Hey, billybuc! Yeah, pretty simple. Some people just tend to panic and overcomplicate things when all they have to do is to blow their nose. Thanks for reading!

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