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The Causes Of A Runny Nose

Written by Silverstein Institute
Published: 19 Oct 2020

Allergy season causes of a runny nose in Sarasota FloridaWith the heart of allergy season looming, many people are experiencing a heightened sense of awareness with symptoms as common as a runny nose. According to the Center of Disease Control, "the common cold is why many people find themselves with a stuffy or runny nose." However, there are many things that can contribute to a runny nose.

Related Blog: Allergy Headaches: What Causes Them and How to Treat Them

Enjoy this short video clip from our own Dr. Jack J. Wazen, MD FACS of the Silverstein Institute below. Join Dr. Wazen to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for a runny nose. 

What Causes A Runny Nose? 

There are roughly 16 conditions associated with a runny nose. A few of the illnesses include: 

  • indoor allergies
  • hay fever
  • allergic reaction 
  • dust exposure
  • acute sinusitis 
  • nasal congestion 

A doctor can help patients better understand the causes and treatment options for a runny nose. 

In fact, if your nose is running, it can be defined as watery nasal secretion. Your symptoms may require over-the-counter (OTC) medication, a prescription, or a medical procedure to alleviate your condition. 

Based on your underlying condition, it's best to know when to seek medical treatment for a runny nose. 


Allergies are caused by your immune system reacting to a foreign substance. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can include a runny nose. 

Allergies are more rampant in the spring due to increased pollen, blooming flowers, weeds, and growing trees, but can occur at any time. 

Many people treat their allergies with OTC medication while others experience more serious symptoms that require treatment from a doctor or allergist. An allergy can have an impact on both children and adults and can be seasonal or year round. If you suspect your runny nose is from allergies, talk to your doctor for more details. 


Rhinitis is caused by swelling or irritation of the mucous membranes in the nose. Patients can experience nonallergic rhinitis or seasonal rhinitis from conditions like hay fever that include a runny nose. 

Patients often experience inflammation or drippy nasal secretion from rhinitis and individuals with nonallergic rhinitis may experience a runny nose that doesn't seem to get better

Nonallergic rhinitis may have symptoms similar to a common cold and can be alleviated with OTC medication while a more serious condition may require treatment from a medical professional. 

Procedures For A Runny Nose 

For many patients, treatment of a runny nose can be as simple as an OTC medication or a prescription from their doctor or allergist. Some patients must take a prescribed allergy shot (immunotherapy) or sublingual (immunotherapy) drops to alleviate their symptoms. Others suffering from a runny nose can be a result of nasal polyps, air pollution, or an infection that requires a non-invasive medical procedure. Your ENT specialist may recommend a procedure that includes:  

  • Septoplasty 
  • Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)
  • Coblation
  • Sinus Surgery
  • Clarifix® (freezing of nerve endings inside of nose)

Your doctor can assess your unique situation and determine what treatment options work best for your symptoms of a runny nose. 

A runny nose can be uncomfortable or become a serious medical condition. The excess drainage that causes a runny nose can be a clear fluid or thick mucus. In fact, drainage can occur from the nose or nasal passages. A runny nose also referred to as rhinorrhea is caused by anything that irritates or causes nasal inflammation. 

Don't suffer with a runny nose alone! At the Silverstein Institute, we care about our patients. You're invited to contact us for more details today!

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