I don’t think there is anyone who has not got the problem of a runny nose; I usually get this problem at least twice or thrice in a year for sure.
A runny nose is an irritating health issue. I’m sure that you would love to know how to stop a runny nose or how to get rid of rhinorrhea (nasal discharge) as fast as possible.
Interestingly, everyone tries to use their favorite home remedies or best medicine to dry up a runny nose. Most of the home remedies for nose discharge we try are the ones that our parents and grandparents had been using for years. There are many simple remedies and solutions for this illness that you may have never known.
Causes And Symptoms Of Runny Nose
A runny nose is caused by excess drainage of fluid created by nasal tissues and blood vessels in the nose. The drainage is the clear fluid in the beginning and later on, the fluid turns into thick mucus.
In medical parlance, “rhinorrhea” and “rhinitis’ are two terms commonly used for a runny nose. The name “rhinorrhea” refers to the clear and thin discharge from the nose. The word “rhinitis” refers to inflammation of the nasal tissues which causes mucus discharge from the nose.
The discharge of fluids from the nose happens as a mechanism of the body to flush out the viruses, allergens, or irritants that cause cold, influenza, or flu.
According to Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, a U.S. board-certified anatomic pathologist, “Stuffy nose is a term often used to refer to obstruction to the flow of air in and out of the nose, while runny nose refers to a discharge (fluid) coming from the nasal passages.”
She further states, “A viral infection (the common cold) is the most common cause of a stuffy and/or runny nose, but allergies, influenza, other viral infections like RSV and sinus infections also may cause these symptoms and signs.”
The common causes of fluid discharge from the nose are the common cold, sinus infection, allergic reaction, irritations caused by foreign bodies, or sudden change in weather conditions.
Other common initiators of a runny nose are smoking, stress, dust, cold weather, and whooping cough.
These causes provide agreeable conditions for the cold-causing virus and bacteria to be hyperactive.
There are more than 200 types of known viruses that can lead to a leaky nasal problem. The most common viruses are rhinovirus which is responsible for 40% of cold and nasal discharges. The coronavirus is responsible for about 20% of cases, while the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza virus cause 10% of colds.
How To Stop A Runny Nose?
For doing an effective treatment for cold and influenza, you have to diagnose the reason for it at first.
If you can diagnose the cause for your leaky nose then you can decide upon the most effective remedies for the same.
Simple home remedies and preventive solutions are the best for arresting thin and continuous mucus discharge from the nose.
There are several types of OTC medicines for the common cold and cough. Most of these OTC products are powerful and effective. Unfortunately, many of them have unpleasant side effects on health.
Now, let us look at some of the best cold relief methods you can perform at home.
1. Prevent And Remove Nasal Irritants
Many get a runny nose because of allergic reactions, dust mites, pets, pollen, and certain types of foods. You need to identify the plants, pets, or materials that are allergic to you and stay away from them.
Keep your home and office clean and free of dust mites. Avoid the foods and drinks that you are allergic to.
You can also get a runny nose if you are living in excessively dry or cold weather conditions. Dry and cold weather conditions irritate the mucous membranes in the nose and cause rhinitis infection.
It is good to use a humidifier in your room to increase the moisture in the air to escape from dry weather conditions adverse to health.
2. Drink Lots Of Fluids
When you have a leaky nose, you should frequently have liquid foods and fluids like warm water, tea, and soups. This can aid in draining out the mucus faster from the nose.
Lemon tea and ginger tea are two excellent drinks for soothing the irritations caused by heavy fluid discharge from the nose.
3. Proper Cleaning Of Nose
When you have a cold and leaky nose, you should frequently clean your nose by gently blowing out the mucus. Try to use Neti pots, nasal aspirator, nose cleaner, soft tissues, or tweezers to clean the nose.
4. Have A Good Bed Rest
If you have heavy fluid discharge from the nose, due to a common cold or influenza, one of the finest remedies is having long hours of bed rest.
Try to sleep as much as you can. This also gives you a break from blowing the nose and keeps you away from irritants that aggravate the problem.
5. Do A Gentle Nose Massage
Gently massage the bridge of the nose, eyes, temples, and earlobes to reduce the sinus pressure. This massage therapy would help you to reduce the flow of fluids from the nose.
Try to close and open the nostrils by gently pressing down and releasing them with your fingers.
6. Use Saline Nasal Spray
If your nose is blocked or partially clogged with mucus, you can make use of the nasal drops or spray to clear the nostrils. Repeat this treatment 3 to 4 times a day till you have comfortable breathing and mucus membranes are soothed.
7. Steam Therapy
Using steam therapy works well for getting relief from a runny nose. It opens up the clogged nostrils by clearing out the mucus.
Just hold your face over a bowl of hot water and trap the steam by using a big towel that can cover your head and pot simultaneously. Breathe in the steam for 10 minutes and then blow your nose. Repeat the steam therapy 3-4 times a day.
You can also have a steam sauna bath to get relief from excessive fluid discharge from the nose.
8. Use A Humidifier
If you have a cold and leaky nose because of the dry weather condition, use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier to fill the air in your room with water moist.
This helps to keep the nasal passage moist and prevent mucus membrane irritation.
9. Apply Warm Compress
When the leaky nose condition is caused by cold, influenza, or sinusitis, then doing a hot compress over your nose and foreheads is beneficial for managing rhinorrhea conditions.
Instead of the compress bag or pack, you can also make use of the washcloth soaked in warm water to do the compress. It is excellent for removing nasal congestion and reducing mucus emissions.
10. Try OTC Products
You can find a variety of prescription medicines and OTC products like pills, sprays, balms for effectively managing excess mucous discharge from the nose.
Vapor rubs and topical decongestants are commonly used OTC products for treating the common cold. Magnesium and zinc supplements are beneficial for clearing up the nasal passage.
Nasal sprays that contain Olopatadine or Ipratropium are effective for draining out the mucus discharges from the nose.
DIY Relief For Runny Nose
As we have discussed already, decongestants, antihistamines, and antibiotics are the most common treatments recommended by doctors for getting relief from the common cold and leaky nose. But the regular use of such medicines is certainly going to have adverse effects on health.
Natural home remedies are the safest and effective way to manage a runny nose. They provide a soothing effect and expel the excess fluids from the nose easily. Here are a few natural remedies for a runny nose worth trying:
1. Salt Water Flush
It is fast and easy to get rid of the irritation and uneasiness caused by a runny nose by using salt water flush.
The saltwater has the ability to make the mucus thin and quickly drain out the excess fluids from the nose.
Add one teaspoon of sea salt (preferably unionized) to 2 cups of distilled warm water and dilute it well. Then with the help of a dropper, pour a few drops of saline water into each nostril with your head slightly bending backward.
Inhale very gently to allow the saline solution to go deep into the nasal passage. After 3 minutes, gently blow the nose to expel the mucus and saline solution from the nose.
It is worth repeating this saltwater flush treatment 3 -5 times a day to get faster relief.
2. Ginger Tea
Ginger contains antiviral and antitoxic medicinal properties that can provide fast relief from irritation and discomfort caused by a runny nose.
Add a tablespoon of finely sliced fresh ginger to a cup of boiling water; let the essence of the ginger steep into the water for a few minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey to the ginger tea and drink it. For best results, drink ginger tea 3-5 times a day.
Ginger tea is also beneficial for providing relief from a sore throat.
For another option, you can add one teaspoon of ginger powder to 1 cup of boiling water and inhale the steam. Taking ginger in the form of lozenges is useful for getting relief from a runny nose.
Chewing a few slices of salted raw ginger is great for soothing the irritation caused by mucus discharge from the nose.
3. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil contains natural decongestant properties that can instantly clear the excess mucus formation in the nose.
Boil 2 cups of water in a large bowl and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to it; also add a few drops of lavender and peppermint oils to it.
Inhale the steam from the bowl closely leaning over the bowl and covering your head with a large towel.
Alternatively, you can apply a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a handkerchief or tissue paper and keep smelling it for a few minutes and repeat it many times a day.
Turmeric is a proven remedy for treating the runny nose and the common cold. The antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties in turmeric fight the virus that causes a leaky nose and other symptoms associated with it.
Take one-half teaspoon of dry turmeric powder and mix it into a cup of linseed oil in a steel bowl. Heat the bowl over the burner till smoke and steam rising out of the bowl. Inhale this smoke through one nostril and exhale through the other.
You can also drink one-half teaspoon turmeric powder diluted in 1 cup of warm water or milk. Drinking turmeric can give fast relief from the common cold, runny nose, sore throat, and asthma.
5. Holy Basil
Holy basil is a popularly used ingredient in several natural remedies for various diseases. Holy basil contains powerful antimicrobial properties that can effectively eliminate or suppress the virus or bacteria that cause leaky nose with fluids.
You can simply chew a few holy basil leaves in the morning and before going to bed to treat the nasal problem.
As for another method, add 10 basil leaves and five cloves to one cup of boiling water; after 10 minutes drink this tea when the solution has cooled down. It is good to drink the basil tea twice or thrice a day for fast relief from the leaky nose.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper contains antihistamine properties beneficial for clearing up nasal congestion and draining out the excess mucus formation.
Interestingly, when you have cayenne pepper it increases the nasal discharges which help the body to flush out the toxins and remove the nasal blockage.
It is also a good remedy for the common cold and influenza by helping to keep the body warm and increasing blood circulation.
When you are suffering from the common cold and runny nose, you can consume more amount of cayenne pepper in your diet.
Garlic is well known for its powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties beneficial for treating common maladies like runny nose and influenza.
Drinking garlic soup can give you quick relief from severe mucus discharge from the nose.
Add four to five cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of boiling water; allow the essence of the garlic to steep down into the water for 10 minutes. Then strain the solution and add a tablespoon of honey and drink the soup twice a day.
Chewing two or three cloves of garlic can help to warm up your body and expel the virus that causes the common cold and influenza.
You will also find garlic supplements that can improve your immunity to fight diseases like runny nose, flu, and influenza.
Additional Tips For Preventing A Runny Nose
Here are some practical tips for preventing or getting relief from a leaky nose problem:
- Runny nose problem will last only for a few days; taking bed rest and having warm foods and liquids are the best solutions;
- Use unscented tissues to clear the nose;
- Avoid spicy foods as they increase the mucous discharge from the nose;
- Gently blow the fluids out of the nose as soon as it gets gathered in the nostrils;
- Drink lemon juice or warm water often;
- Avoid drinking caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and other beverages;
- Totally avoid smoking;
- Use nasal moisturizer to mitigate the nasal irrigation;
- Have steam sauna or hot water bath;
- Have peppermint drinks and toffees;
- Use nasal congestion removal creams or balms;
- Keep away from all allergy triggers and irritants;
- Avoid air conditioners and fans; try to stay at normal room temperature.