Rhinorrhea also called runny nose or nasal drip occurs when the excess fluid that is thin or thick, clear or opaque drain from your nose constantly or alternating. These excess drainages produce by blood vessels and nasal tissues. Longstanding rhinorrhea can affect the quality of life, sleep quality, the health of the ears and hearing.

Runny nose causes

runny nose causes

There are different reasons that can cause rhinorrhea such as:


It also is known as hay fever and allergic rhinitis, usually has seasonal reasons and occur during the spring and fall because of the body’s inflammatory response to the air pollen. For example, trees, flowering plants, grasses, and weeds can cause rhinorrhea. Allergic rhinitis can treat by internasal Atrovent and in case of need by antihistamines such as Loratadin and Citrizine.


It is the common cold also called upper respiratory infection causes a runny nose by increasing the permeability of blood vessels in the nose and leakage of fluid into the nasal passage. Usually 2 to 3 days following infection of a common cold virus, rhinorrhea will occur.

Spicy foods

Eating spicy foods can cause rhinorrhea also called gustatory rhinitis. Although it is not supposed as an immune response, it may be related to stimulation of the nervous system or parasympathetic response. In this condition, internasal atropine is helpful to reduce gustatory rhinitis.


Rhinorrhea due to the medications called medication-induced rhinitis. Some medications may cause changes in the body and leads to rhinorrhea. Sometimes medications which are targeted to treat high blood pressure, pain, depression, enlarged prostate, birth control, cardiovascular disease, and erectile dysfunction causes a runny nose. Although the side effects of medications are varying for different people and you may not experience runny nose by taking above medications.

Cold air

The dry and cold air causes runny nose by changing the fluid balance in your nasal passage and dry out the nasal membranes. These changes cause a cascade of the inflammatory response and nasal nervous system reflexes and lead to rhinorrhea.


Your body is generating tears constantly to keep your eyes from drying out but they don’t run down your cheeks unless you cry. When you are crying, more tears flow through the lacrimal puncta into the nasolacrimal duct and drain directly into your nose and cause nasal drip. Actually, while crying, a runny nose is your tears that drain into your nose.


Runny nose due to hormones is known as hormonal rhinitis. They can have a direct effect on the membranes in the nasal passage and causes mucous glands to become more reactive. Level of female sex hormones, growth and thyroid can cause hormonal rhinitis. More addition about 20 to 30 out of 100 pregnant women may experience nasal drip and congestion during the pregnancy. The changes to blood vessel throughout a woman’s body during the pregnancy result in the pooling of blood in the nasal blood vessels. On the other hand, the
increased level of progesterone during the pregnancy causes the blood vessels not to relax as normal and causes nasal drip.


Aerobic exercise can also cause nasal drip or vasomotor rhinitis. When you are doing exercise outdoors, your runny nose may be related to cold weather, allergies or another irritant. In this condition, a nasal anticholinergic may be helpful for you.

Infection of the sinuses and or adenoids

When the sinuses or cavities of the face that drain into the nose, fill with infected mucus because of the sinusitis, it can cause a runny nose.