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Why Do I Always Have A Runny Nose?

Runny Nose Austin, TXRhinorrhea is the medical term for a runny nose. This can be a real nuisance as the patient may feel that they need to constantly carry tissue with them. It can also be embarrassing in social situations such as eating meals out with friends.

There are multiple reasons why a nose might run too much and it requires a thorough and algorithmic approach to resolve this issue. Frequently a patient may have more than one cause for this condition. Causes include:

Allergies

When a person is exposed to an allergen that they are sensitive to, it causes a reaction in the nasal lining called “mast cell degranulation”.  This kicks off a big release of chemicals in the tissue such as histamines that make the nasal lining swell and run. Medical therapy such as antihistamines or allergy nose sprays may reduce the rhinorrhea to some degree but have side effects. Our needle-free allergy skin testing can help us identify what creates the allergy symptoms in our patients and allergy drop therapy can be used to make the patient have antibodies to reduce and eliminate this reaction.

Structural issues

A deviated septum, turbinate swelling, or nasal polyps block the nasal airway and prevent adequate airflow through the nasal cavity. The normal nasal secretions that would typically be absorbed by the airflow, instead pool and run. A miniCT scan and nasal endoscopy in our office can help identify these issues.  A simple office procedure, under IV sedation, can correct this.

Sinusitis

Infection of the nasal lining with viruses or bacteria creates inflammation of the nasal lining with a significant increase in nasal and sinus secretion production. A miniCT scan and nasal endoscopy in our office can help address this issue when it is frequent or chronic. Antibiotic therapy can help resolve this condition, in most cases. When medical therapy cannot resolve this issue, simple office balloon sinuplasty is effective in resolving recurring or chronic sinus issues.

Foreign body

Particularly in the pediatric population, we have to keep in mind that they may have placed an object in their nose. This creates a local foreign body reaction with copious rhinorrhea on one side. A nasal endoscopy can be used to identify the foreign body and remove it.

Vasomotor rhinitis

This is a condition where the nerves in the nose that stimulate mucus secretion production are hyperactive. This may occur secondary to longstanding allergy or sinus issues or maybe a degenerative condition which is common when we age. Medical therapy in the form of a special nose spray can reduce this rhinorrhea.  A new procedure called Clarifix can also be done to freeze the nerve responsible and reduce the rhinorrhea.

Schedule A Consultation

If you suffer from a chronic runny nose come see us for a consultation to identify and correct the underlying causes. Contact us at 512.601.0303 to schedule an appointment!

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