Runny noses have, potentially, a wide range of causes. You’re likely most familiar with it when you have a cold or when you suffer from hay fever, but it can strike even when you’re out in cold weather.
It’s usually a temporary issue, though. When your cold is over, when allergy season ends, or when you come inside and warm up, your runny nose disappears. A recurring runny nose, however, is a problem that lasts longer than two weeks.
If you have a runny nose that doesn’t seem to go away, Alexis Furze, MD, can help you at his practice, in Newport Beach, California. Dr. Furze can sort through your symptoms to uncover the source of your runny nose and, more importantly, treat your condition.
The purpose of mucus
Mucus lines the inside of the airways in your nose as a layer that traps allergens, bacteria, dust, and other airborne particles. Antibodies in the mucus kill some of the bacteria and viruses they trap.
Tiny hairs called cilia then push the pathogen-laden mucus toward the back of your throat, where it’s swallowed, and the harmful particles, if not already dead, are destroyed by stomach acids.
Recurring runny nose
Your nose runs when you have an overproduction of mucus. The reason for that overproduction tends to establish how long your runny nose lasts. When your problem lasts longer than 14 days, and the mucus that’s draining is thin and clear, you have a recurring runny nose.
Since seasonal allergies can often last longer than two weeks, it’s possible that your recurring runny nose lasts longer, too. Mucus produced due to allergies is often lighter and clearer than that produced by respiratory infections.
Your runny nose may be accompanied by other common allergy symptoms, including:
- Watery, itchy, and red eyes
- Itchiness in the nose, throat, and roof of mouth
Symptoms can be weaker or stronger depending on your exposure to allergy triggers.
Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths that appear on the walls of your nasal passages, and they result from chronic inflammation, which is often associated with asthma and allergies. The inflammation can also contribute to that recurring runny nose. You may also feel symptoms like sinus pressure, headaches, or postnasal drip.
The septum, the cartilage divider between the nostrils, is not always centered in the nose. This can lead to problems similar to nasal polyps by creating barriers to normal air passage and mucus drainage.
Sinusitis is inflammation or swelling of the tissue that lines the sinuses. Because a respiratory infection causes congestion and conditions in which bacteria, viruses, or fungi can thrive, a cold or flu may lead to chronic sinusitis if these substances don’t clear up completely. This, in turn, could cause your runny nose to last a while.
If you have a runny nose that won’t go away, come to the practice of Alexis Furze, MD. He can give you a thorough evaluation and treat your runny nose. To learn more, call 949-205-7745 to book an appointment today.