With the onset of summer and an increase in dust and pollution, most people (children and adults) tend to fall victim to allergies. A runny nose and sneezing consequently is a sure shot sign of the presence allergens in the body. Runny nose is a result of sneezing, which is the body's way of eliminating allergens like dust, pollen grains and pathogens. Though harmless in nature and which may stay for a short duration, these symptoms can be quite annoying as they don't have a specific time for appearing.
Causative Factors for Runny Nose and Sneezing
Nasal discharge or runny nose can occur when the inner lining or epithelium becomes irritated, which in turn elicits hyper secretion of the mucus and sneezing. Experiencing bouts of sneezing and a runny nose both at the same time can be a result of rhinitis, which is the inflammation of the inside of the nose.
- As seen earlier, sneezing and a runny nose may be the result of infection in the nasal passage. Bacterial, fungal or viral infection can trigger disorders like common cold and to certain extent, flu. If left untreated, it can affect the sinuses and lead to the person suffering from sinusitis.
- The presence of allergens in the nose. Allergies can be seasonal or ingested and the person may suffer accordingly. Seasonal allergies may include hay fever and can be caused due to animal dander, pollen grains, house dust mite and fungal spores etc. Ingested can be because of food allergies like lactose or gluten intolerance.
- Changes in temperature, like going from an extremely warm room to a comparatively colder one can trigger bouts of sneezing. Moisture is also one contributing factor for a stuffy nose. Some people, who are sensitive to cigarette smoke, car exhaust, strong perfumes, fire smoke etc. can experience sneezing and runny nose.
- A growth in the nasal passage like polyps or paranasal sinus tumors can make the epithelium more sensitive and increase mucosal secretion. This in turn can give rise to frequent episodes of sneezing.
- Allergic reactions to certain drugs like anti-inflammatory medications, hormonal contraceptives, antianxiety drugs etc. is also one of the reasons why some individuals may undergo this nuisance.
Home Remedies for Runny Nose and Sneezing
There are home remedies as well as clinical treatment options to relieve this respiratory system condition. In order to provide relief from these two conditions, it is necessary to get to the root cause for appropriate treatment.
- Avoid going to places which are crowded or too dusty. If you are sensitive to dust, then cover your nose and mouth while visiting such places. You can follow this while you are cleaning your house.
- Inhaling steam is also another effective remedy to get rid of this distressing condition. Add a few drops of essential oil like eucalyptus, tea tree or camphor before inhaling. This will clear the nasal passage and help you get rid of sinus drainage.
- Using a neti pot with a warm saline solution will help clean out the nasal passage. Pour the saline solution from one nostril, till the water runs out from the other. You can repeat this procedure alternatively for each nostril.
- Nettle, which is a herb also helps in eliminating these symptoms. Taking supplements of nettle soothes the itching sensation in the nose as well as controls the urge to sneeze.
- Including foods rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits and vegetables like carrots, broccoli, spinach and peppers, is also a productive way to get relief from runny nose as well as sneezing. Vitamin C helps reduce the amount of histamines in the body.