How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

If you have a runny nose, chances are you’re suffering from rhinitis. Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages, which often comes with a side of congestion, nasal discharge, sneezing, an irritated throat, cough, and fatigue.

There are two types of rhinitis: allergic and nonallergic. Allergic rhinitis is associated with allergies. When you have an allergy, your body releases a chemical called histamine, which triggers the mucous glands in your nose to ramp up production, causing a runny nose. A common form of allergic rhinitis is environmental allergies from irritants such as:

  • Tree pollen
  • Grasses and weeds
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander

Nonallergic rhinitis doesn’t involve histamines. It’s basically what’s causing your runny nose if allergies aren’t the culprit. And that can cover a wide range of triggers including:

  • Viruses that cause colds and flu
  • Rapid temperature changes
  • Emotions like severe sadness
  • Hormones
  • Irritants such as strong fragrances and smoke

It’s important to know what type of rhinitis is causing your runny nose because that will ultimately determine how you should treat it.

How to stop a runny nose

If you’re suffering from allergic rhinitis, the best way to alleviate symptoms is to reduce the histamine levels in your body. That’s where antihistamine medications can help. But avoid sedating antihistamines — an ingredient in multi-symptom relief products — because it can have side effects including dry mouth, urinary retention, and in some cases, possible memory impairment.

If, however, you’re suffering from some form of nonallergic rhinitis, especially if you have a cold or flu, try the following.

  • Blow your nose. But make sure to blow through one nostril at a time. Otherwise, you can generate pressure that shoots the mucus into your sinuses instead of draining them out.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. This can help keep your nasal tissues moist, which can loosen any congestion.
  • Using a humidifier can make indoor allergies such as dust mite and mold allergies worse, but too dry of a room can also irritate the nasal passages. The goal is to keep the relative humidity of the home at around 40-50 percent. If it’s higher than that, you create an environment wherein dust mites and mold will thrive.
  • Applying a warm wet cloth to your face several times a day can help relieve your sinuses, which might be irritated from the dry air.
  • Using a nasal saline rinse can wash away allergens, viruses, and bacteria from the nose and help clear out any trapped mucus.
  • When sleeping, try to keep your head elevated and try using nasal strips. Keeping your head elevated allows for better drainage from nasal passages, and nasal strips widen the nasal passages to give more room for congestion to clear.
  • Decongestants dry out and shrink inflamed nasal passages. But overuse of decongestants can cause jitteriness and increased blood pressure. Doctors recommend using decongestants for no more than three days.

And if your rhinitis — allergic or nonallergic — becomes chronic, this can increase your risk of getting a bacterial infection. If that happens, see a doctor who can prescribe you antibiotics.

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Everyone sneezes. But how do you know whether your sneezing is caused by an allergy? It can happen when you least expect it, like when you’re plucking your eyebrows or when you step outdoors into sunlight. A sneeze can be brought on (or out!) when the nerves in your eyes are exposed to bright light.

Find an allergist

A runny or stuffy nose can also be a symptom of allergies. Allergic rhinitis, known as hay fever, is a term used to describe allergic reactions in the nose. Symptoms of hay fever can include sneezing, congestion and runny nose, as well as itching in your nose, eyes and/or the roof of your mouth.

Other allergy-related conditions can cause a runny or stuffy nose, as well as sneezing. These include:

  • Sinus infection. There are two major forms of sinus infections (also called sinusitis): acute and chronic. Both acute and chronic sinus infections can be viral or bacterial. Some long-standing infections are fungal.
  • Decongestant nasal spray overuse. Over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays are commonly used to relieve nasal congestion from colds or allergies. But if you use them regularly for as little as three days, a rebound nasal congestion can occur. If you continue to use the spray, the rebound effect gets worse and worse, leading to almost chronic nasal blockage. Many times, people with this condition don’t realize that the spray is causing the problem.
  • Nonallergic rhinitis. These are ailments that mimic some of the symptoms of hay fever, such as nasal congestion and postnasal drip, but are not caused by allergies. Different than nasal allergies, these nonallergic nasal problems usually appear in adulthood, don’t usually make your nose and eyes itch, don’t include sneezing and often occur year-round.

Because the only wheezing you should experience on a run should come from hill repeats.

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

A good run already puts your lungs under enough stress; running outside during peak allergy season can do a serious number on your entire respiratory system. “Running increases your breathing rate, which makes you more likely to inhale more allergens,” explains Vijay Jotwani, M.D., a primary care sports medicine physician at Houston Methodist.

That means you’ll not only be dealing with hill spring-induced wheezing, but also common symptoms of seasonal allergies such as congestion, runny nose, a scratchy throat, and eye irritation—basically, everything that would make you swear off nature and embrace treadmill training for the foreseeable future.

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

But just because the slightest tinge of yellow dust in the air makes you sneeze doesn’t mean you need to give up outdoor miles. Rather, it’s all about knowing what you’re getting yourself into and properly preparing for it.

First, if your seasonal allergies are bad enough that they’re affecting your run, you may want to get tested by an allergist to find out what you’re allergic to (tree pollen? grass pollen? other outdoor allergens?) and how sensitive you are, says Stanley Fineman, M.D., a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “Know what conditions will make your symptoms flare can help you avoid a lot of grief,” he says.

Once you know your triggers, you can check local pollen counts on sites such as Pollen concentrations are usually highest from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. “Waiting until the afternoon and evening may be more helpful to reduce exposure and make your run feel easier,” says David Erstein, M.D., a New York-based allergist and immunologist.

Knowing what sets off your symptoms can also help you take preventative measures before heading outside. “If your symptoms aren’t too bad and only warrant an ‘as needed approach,’ taking an oral antihistamine like Allegra, Zyrtec, or Claritin at least one to two hours before a run may be a good enough strategy for you,” says Erstein. Otherwise, an allergist may recommend a nasal steroid spray or additional prescription meds to make the run more bearable, adds Fineman. If you’re dealing with itchy eyes, over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops like Zaditor can provide serious relief on the run.

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Is pollen, dust, or pet hair annoying? If you are allergic to these allergens, you may experience a runny nose. It could be a pain or just mild pain. If you get treatment, you can stop a runny nose, dry up the swollen mucous membranes caused by histamine, and help the nose get back to normal. Once you’re done with the runny nose, you can take steps to protect yourself from future allergies.


Method 1 of 2: Stop a Runny Nose

Take an antihistamine. As the name suggests, antihistamines help prevent the body from releasing histamine, the substance that causes a runny nose. Antihistamines dry out the mucous membranes in the nostrils. You can take an over-the-counter antihistamine that contains substances such as loratadine or diphenhydramine. Common antihistamines include Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl, Phenergan, and Clarinex.

  • Benadry has the ability to induce drowsiness, while Claritin causes the least sleep. Use extreme caution when taking medications with narcotics.

Drink a lot of water. Although you may not stop having a runny nose as soon as you drink warm water, it is important to stay hydrated when you have symptoms of an allergy. Blowing your nose repeatedly and taking medications that have the side effects of dehydration will dry out your mucus membranes. Drinking a 470 ml glass of water after a few hours can help restore balance.

Use herbal remedies. Several herbal remedies available at home are antihistamines.

  • Mustard oil. Mustard oil contains antihistamines. Put some mustard in a pan with a little water and heat it. When the solution is liquid enough to fill the eye dropper bottle, put a small amount in one nostril. Take a deep breath. Because mustard has a strong smell, it can help clear your nose again.
  • Turmeric. This herb has long been appreciated in Indian culture as a spice and remedy. Soak a small amount of turmeric powder in pure flaxseed oil, which you can buy at organic food stores. Keep the turmeric coated with flaxseed oil on the stove until it smolder. Inhale slowly the smoke from the turmeric.

Humidify the air. Buy one or two air humidifiers. There are many types of machines to choose from. While it may sound a bit weird, allergies are often prone to prevent processes to moisten the nostrils in the body. When you first come into contact with an allergen, your body releases histamine that produces a lot of runny nose and dries up. Then, when airborne particles enter a dry environment in the nose that is usually the same type of seed — as pollen is the first allergen — the body starts a runny nose to remove them and re-establish balance system. An air humidifier keeps the air moist, helping to wet the mucous membranes in the nose.

  • The ideal humidity for your home is between 30% and 50%. If it’s lower it will be too dry for your nose. If it is higher than the room you will become stuffy. It can also give rise to fungi and bacteria.
  • The humidifier isn’t powerful enough to work your whole home. Place them in the rooms or rooms you use the most to get the best results. However, when you are not in a humid environment, your mucous membranes will start to dry again.


Method 2 of 2: Prevent a runny nose Next time

Find the cause of the allergy. Your doctor can run an allergy test, helping you narrow down and even figure out what exactly you’re allergic to. Sometimes, the test cannot identify or will indicate many types of allergies. The more information you have about your allergies, the better. Once you have general information about the cause of your runny nose, you can begin to avoid exposure to these allergens.

Avoid allergens. Environmental irritants and allergens like pollen, pet hair and hair, dirt, and cigarette smoke can dry out the nasal membranes and start the runny cycle. Use an indoor air purifier to avoid all causes of airborne allergies, but be aware that avoiding all allergens is almost impossible unless you lock yourself in a sealed container. air.

  • One of the most common airborne allergens in the United States is from pollen weeds, in more than 17 varieties. While it’s almost impossible to avoid exposure to pollen, you can see where they can be concentrated in your environment. Avoid these places as far as possible.
  • Avoid going out during peak hours, such as early in the morning, and near a window when there is a lot of pollen.
  • Reduce dust mites in your home by minimizing carpets, quilts, and stuffed animals. Use dust mite covers around mattresses and pillows.

Wear the mask. This may be the most effective way to protect yourself from allergens that cause a runny nose. If the particles don’t get into your nose, they won’t cause a runny nose. If you go out during allergy season, wrap a scarf around your nose and mouth. A mask worked even better.

Wash your hands often. This will prevent spreading the allergen. Wash with soap and water. Any soap will work because you are just trying to get rid of allergens, not bacteria. Rub hands over for at least 20 minutes. Wash and dry your hands with a clean towel.

Wash your face after contact with allergens. If you are allergic to fur, wash your face after petting your dog. If you have a pollen allergy, wash your face when you go home after being outside. This will help reduce your exposure to the allergen. advertisement

Doe pollen, dut, or pet dander bother you? If you are allergic to thee item, your noe may run dry. Thi condition may be annoying, or even painful. With treatment, however, you can top the mucu, dry ou


Does pollen, dust, or pet dander bother you? If you are allergic to these items, your nose may run dry. This condition may be annoying, or even painful. With treatment, however, you can stop the mucus, dry out the mucous membranes swollen due to histamine, and restore your nose to its normal state. After clearing your nose, you can then take steps to protect yourself from allergies in the future.

Method 1 of 2: Stopping Sniffles

Take an antihistamine. As the name suggests, antihistamines will prevent the body from producing histamine, which causes the nose to runny nose. Antistamines will dry out the mucous membranes in the nasal cavity. You can try an over the counter antihistamine with an active ingredient such as loratadine or diphenhydramine. Commonly used antihistamines include Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl, Phenergan, and Clarinex.

  • Benadryl may cause drowsiness, while Claritin tends to cause the least amount of drowsiness. Take precautions while using medications that cause drowsiness.

Drink lots of water. Although your nose may not immediately stop blowing your nose when you drink water, it is very important to stay hydrated if you experience allergy symptoms. Blowing your nose repeatedly and using drugs with the side effect of dehydrating will dry out the mucous membranes. Drink 500 ml of water every few hours to restore balance to the system in the body.

Try herbal remedies. Some herbal home remedies work as antihistamines.

  • Mustard oil. This material is effective as an antihistamine. Take a spoonful of mustard and heat it in a skillet with a little water. Once the solution is runny enough to fit into the pipette, pour a small amount into one of your nostrils. Take a deep breath. The moster smells strong, so it may take you a few seconds to recuperate after using it.
  • Turmeric. This herbal plant has long been used in Indian culture both for food and medicine. Lightly soak turmeric powder in pure flaxseed oil, which can be purchased at most health food stores. Place the turmeric powder soaked in linseed oil on the heat source until it starts to burn. Slowly inhale some of the smoke.

Humidify the air. Buy one or two humidifier. There are several types of tools that you can choose from. Although humidifier seems to fight the healing process, allergies actually block the body’s natural processes that keep the nasal passages moist. When you are first exposed to allergens, your body releases a chemical called histamine, which causes mucous membranes to swell and dry up. Furthermore, when airborne particles enter this dry environment (often the same particles, such as the initial allergy-inducing pollen), the body begins to secrete mucus in an attempt to expel it and restore balance to the system. Humidifier will help even out the humidity of the air to keep the nasal cavity moist.

  • The ideal humidity of the home environment should be between 30-50 percent. Lower than that range, too dry for your nose. However, if it is higher, your room will feel crowded and will encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi.
  • Most of the humidifier not strong enough to humidify the entire room in the house. Place this tool in the room or room that you use the most to maximize its benefits. It’s just that, when leaving the room that is equipped humidifier, your mucous membranes will dry up again.

Method 2 of 2: Preventing Later Runs On

Identify your allergens. Your doctor can order an allergy test that will help narrow down and even determine what triggers your allergy is. But sometimes, allergy test results don’t refer to a specific ingredient or indicate multiple allergies. The more information you know about allergies, the better. Once you have a general idea of ​​what causes runny nose, you can start avoiding exposure to these substances.

Avoid allergy triggers. Irritating and allergenic substances from the environment such as pollen, animal dander, hair, dust and cigarette smoke can cause the nasal passages to dry out and trigger mucus discharge. Using an air purifier at home can help remove these irritants from the air, but be aware that getting rid of allergy triggers is almost impossible unless you live in an airtight room.

  • One of the most common airborne allergens in the US is weed pollen, although there are more than 17 varieties. While avoiding exposure to weeds is almost impossible to do at all, you can still find out the places with high pollen levels are nearby. Avoid these locations as much as possible.
  • Avoid going out during times of high pollen levels such as the morning, and close windows when pollen levels are high.
  • Reduce household dust mites by minimizing the use of carpets, blankets and dolls. Use dust mite protection for mattresses and pillows.

Protect your face. This method is perhaps the most extreme step to protect yourself from allergies that cause runny nose. If they can’t get into your body, they won’t cause you to runny nose. If you go outside during allergy season, wear a scarf over your mouth and nose. A face mask might be better.

Wash your hands frequently. This step will prevent the spread of allergies. Use soap and water. Any soap is fine as you only need to try to get rid of the allergens, not kill the bacteria. Wipe your hands for at least 20 seconds. Rinse and dry your hands with a clean towel.

Wash your face after exposure to allergens. If you are allergic to pet hair, wash all parts of your face after petting a pet. If you are allergic to pollen, wash your face when you come home after spending time outdoors. This step will help reduce your exposure to allergens to your body.

A runny nose is an annoying problem and occurs when you have a mucus buildup in your sinus and nasal passages. Your body increases the production of mucus in an effort to flush flu or cold viruses, allergens, and irritants out of your body. If your nose won’t stop running, it is important to see your doctor to identify the exact cause.

Causes of Running Nose

Anything that irritates the nasal tissue can lead to a runny nose. It could happen due to infections such as the common cold, or it may be the result of seasonal allergies. If you cannot pinpoint a reason behind your runny nose, you may be suffering from a condition called non-allergic rhinitis or vasomotor rhinitis (VMR). In rare cases, someone with a runny nose may have a tumor, a foreign body, or polyp to blame.

Here are some possible causes why your nose just won’t stop running:

Respiratory synctial virus (RSV)

Exposure to dry air

Overuse of decongestants

Spinal fluid leak

When to See Your Doctor

You should call your doctor if your nose won’t stop running despite taking homecare measures. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you have a runny nose that lasts more than 10 days and is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • You have a very high fever.
  • You notice green and yellow nasal discharge along with sinus pain.
  • You notice blood in your nasal discharge.
  • You sustain a head injury and have a persistent clear nasal discharge.

You should seek immediately medical attention if your child has a runny nose along with the following symptoms:

  • Your child is 2 months old or younger.
  • Your child has a high fever.
  • Your baby’s congestion or runny nose interferes with nursing.
  • Your baby has breathing difficulties.

Home Remedies for a Runny Nose

When your nose won’t stop running, it is better to talk to your doctor to rule out the possibility of having a serious underlying condition. However, you can also help deal with the situation using some home remedies. These remedies work great when your runny nose is the result of allergies or some minor infections.

1. Salt Water

Using salt water is probably the simplest way to deal with a runny nose. It helps thin the mucus and makes it easier to be expelled. You may also rely on it to help get rid of any irritants in the nasal passages.

  • Take a small bowl and fill it up with a couple of cups of warm water.
  • Then, add one-half teaspoon of salt to it and mix well.
  • Fill a dropper with the solution and put a few drops into your nostrils.
  • Be sure to tilt your head back a bit while putting the drops. Inhale gently to help take the solution into your nasal passages.
  • Finish by blowing your nose to get rid of excess mucus and irritants. Repeat a couple of times a day for the best results.

2. Steam

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

Steam inhalation is yet another nice home remedy to treat your runny nose, which works by clearing out excess mucus.

  • Fill a bowl with hot water, bend over it with a towel over your head, and take deep breaths.
  • You need to inhale steam for at least 10 minutes. Finish by blowing your nose.
  • Repeat thrice a day for the best results.

3. Mustard Oil

With its antiviral, antibiotic, and antihistamine properties, mustard oil usually works great to provide instant relief from a runny nose and other associated symptoms.

  • Take a small amount of mustard oil and heat it for a few minutes.
  • Make use of a dropper to put a few drops of mustard oil in your nostrils.
  • The oil will warm up your respiratory system and eliminate any irritants.

4. Turmeric

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

Turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties, which makes it a great treatment option if your nose won’t stop running.

  • Take a cup of linseed oil and soak one-half teaspoon of ground turmeric in it.
  • Heat the mixture for a while until it starts smoking.
  • Then, inhale the smoke for a few minutes. Do it twice a day for relief.

5. Ginger

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

Ginger has strong antiviral, antioxidant, antifungal, and antitoxic properties that make it effective against the symptoms of a runny nose.

You can simply chew on a piece of raw ginger a few times a day or make a ginger tea by boiling ginger in a cup of water. You can add a bit of honey to your tea to make it taste better.

6. Garlic

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

Thanks to its strong antiseptic and antibacterial properties, you can always use garlic to deal with your runny nose.

  • Take a cup of water and add 3-4 garlic cloves to it.
  • Then, boil it for several minutes. Strain it and drink the soup two times a day for relief.
  • You can also get similar results by chewing on a piece of garlic 3-4 times a day.

7. Basil

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

Basil is known for its impressive antifungal, antibacterial, and healing properties, and really helps warm your body from the inside.

Simply chew 3-4 basil leaves twice a day – do it once before breakfast and once again before going to bed at night.

8. Try OTC Medications

Along with trying some natural home remedies, you can also improve your symptoms by taking over-the-counter medications.

  • You can always use Vicks products. They may not help cure your runny nose but will certainly help make breathing easier.
  • You can also take cold medicines to dry up your nasal passages.
  • Taking an OTC antihistamine would help in case your runny nose is the result of allergies.

Three crucial steps are shown in this diagram (on the left side).

Not all people get a runny nose due to allergic rhinitis. In more rare cases, a running nose can be due to a brain trauma. In other cases, overuse of nasal sprays can lead to a running nose. Certain other foods (e.g., spices) and other irritants may also trigger this condition. Obviously, the triggers need to be avoided.

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies
A runny nose and allergies can appear only when one’s body and brain O2 levels are much less than the physiological norm (40 seconds). Usually, it is even less than 20 seconds for the DIY body-O2 test. Tissue hypoxia is caused by ineffective breathing (too fast and heavy breathing). This makes the immune system weak and hypersensitive.

Additional causes of low body and brain O2 are chest breathing (which reduces blood oxygenation) and mouth breathing (which leads to losses of blood levels of CO2 and nitric oxide generated in sinuses).

This video has had a huge positive response. It explains How to Get Rid of a Running Nose – Remedy.

Pinch your nose and walk fast with your nose pinched. (Your mouth should be closed all the time.) You need to get more arterial CO2 to dilate arteries and arterioles (CO2 is the most potent dilator of arteries and arterioles). You will probably make about 15-25 steps. While walking, you should hold your breath until a strong desire to breathe appears.

Afterward, sit down with your spine totally straight. After you release your nose, start reduced breathing (breathing less air than before this exercise). How? Instead of taking your usual big and frequent inhalations, take a smaller inhalation and using the diaphragm only. Then relax all muscles for an exhalation and repeat the cycle. Make another short inhalation and again just relax to exhale. Practice this reduced breathing while remaining relaxed.

How to get your nose to stop running with allergies

Your purpose is to maintain air hunger (shortage of air) for several minutes with total relaxation of body muscles. If your brain and body-O2 levels are low, it is normal that your breath pattern will be frequent during this exercise.

This breathing exercise “how to stop a runny nose” increases brain and body-O2 content by about 3-5 seconds.

If you practice this home remedy for hours every day, you can expect quick health recovery. There are many additional lifestyle changes that help to increase brain and body O2. Study this site for more details.

How to get rid of a running nose during sleep or at night

How to get your nose to stop running with allergiesYou need to lie on your left side or chest and relax all bodily muscles. (Sleeping sitting is even a better option since it causes least problems with a runny nose.) Pinch your nose, hold your breath until air hunger, and then follow the same instructions for reduced breathing as above.

So that your nose does not get runny again, you should increase your body O2, using breathing exercises and lifestyle changes, up to 20 seconds. The same remedy will help you to fall asleep much faster too.

Get rid of running nose for good

Over 120 Soviet and Russian MDs tested and cured thousands of people with asthma, colds, rhinitis and other conditions leading to a runny nose. These doctors found certain criteria of clinical remission for this symptom. (My observations with my students are the same.) Their main requirement (the exact number for the body O2 test in seconds) is hidden as your bonus content.

– If your body-O2 test results are more than 30 s all the time, your immune system will be much stronger, and you will not suffer from colds or the flu.

– If, in addition to the previous condition, you can avoid your allergic triggers for about 2-3 months, then this time should desensitize your immune system to your allergic triggers. Therefore, you can get rid of a runny nose and all your allergies (to tree pollen, cat proteins, and all other triggers).

This is the permanent solution (how to get rid of a runny nose for good) found by medical doctors to permanently solve problems with a runny nose.

Related web pages:
How to tape mouth at night – Mouth taping technique to prevent mouth breathing during sleep
Mouth vs. nose breathing – Medical review of main physiological effects
Sleep positions medical research (26 studies – What is the best way to sleep for maximum body oxygenation?)
How to prevent sleeping on one’s back – Practical techniques and permanent solutions
Clear stuffy nose in 1-2 min – Easy remedy for a permanent solution
Internet lies about ideal sleep positions – Over 90% of internet resources suggest sleeping on one’s back.

Study claims hyperventilation causes sinusitis

Bartley James, Nasal congestion and hyperventilation syndrome, American Journal of Rhinology, 2005 Nov-Dec; vol 19(6): p. 607-11.

When your nose starts to run, the first step in finding the right treatment is figuring out the cause. Three common causes of a runny nose are allergies, a cold, and a sinus infection.

If you are allergic to something (your allergen) such as tree pollen, your body mistakes that allergen for something harmful to your body. When you come in contact with the allergen, your immune system jumps into action by releasing antibodies and other chemicals to fight off the invader. One of these chemicals known as histamine causes the symptoms we associate with an allergic reaction including itchy or watery eyes and a runny nose.

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Allergy symptoms show up after you have been exposed to your allergen. If you get away from the allergen, the symptoms should go away and your nose should stop running. Some allergens, like cat hair, tend to be localized. So if you visit someone with a cat you can expect a runny nose that will clear up when you get out of the area. But if you are allergic to something like tree pollen, you might notice your symptoms improving when you go indoors where the air is filtered.

Allergy treatments include antihistamines to reduce the allergic reaction. Many antihistamine or antihistamine/decongestants are available over-the-counter (OTC).

Seasonal allergies tend to show up around the same time each year, such as when a particular plant is pollinating. So if you suspect you have allergies, thinking about whether you always seem to get sick around the same time of year may help you figure out what your allergen is. An allergist can also do tests to determine what you are allergic to and can suggest treatments that may work better than OTC medications.

The common cold is caused by a virus and can be spread to other people. Symptoms of a cold include coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose. Common treatments include rest, pain relievers, and OTC cold medications. You can reduce the chances you will catch or share the cold virus by washing your hands often and always covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.

Sinus infection
A sinus infection is caused by something foreign growing in your sinuses. A sinus is a hollow cavity in the bones in your head. There are four pairs of sinuses in the human skull. Small passages connect all the sinus cavities to the airway behind the nose. When you have a sinus infection, something in your sinuses grows and produces excess mucus that can plug the opening from the sinus and prevent the fluids in the sinus from draining.

Sinus infections can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungus. Sinus infections are not believed to be contagious. Symptoms of a sinus infection include: headache, especially a headache centered over one or more sinus cavities, facial tenderness, pain or pressure in the sinuses, fever, and discolored drainage from the nose. People who have sinusitis, which is inflammation in the mucus membrane lining the sinuses, may be more prone to sinus infections.

Treatments for sinus infections vary depending on the cause of the infection. Viral infections generally must run their course. OTC decongestants and medications to reduce mucus can help. Irrigating the sinuses with a Neti-pot or other saline rinse can also help reduce symptoms. Bacterial sinus infections are often treated with an antibiotic as well as nasal irrigation. Fungal infections in the sinuses are rare, but require medical attention.

In general, allergy symptoms will go away when you get away from the allergen. A cold tends to last about a week before symptoms ease and disappear. A sinus infection, especially a bacterial infection, can last much longer and will get worse instead of better over time. If your runny nose does not go away in a short time, talk to your healthcare provider to find out if you need seasonal allergy treatment or more aggressive treatment for a sinus infection.

Mayo Clinic. Cold or allergy: Which is it?. James M. Steckelberg, MD. Web. September 19, 2011. Thyroid Disease. Is It Allergies or Sinusitis?. Mary Shomon. Web. September 19, 2011.

Reviewed September 20, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith