A runny nose – or rhinorrhoea, to give it the medical term – is one of the most common symptoms there is. It is often the sign of a cold or hay fever, or it could be a result of being exposed to cold temperatures or prolonged crying.
How does it occur?
The term rhinorrhoea comes from the Greek words ‘rhino’ (the nose) and ‘rhoea’ (to flow and discharge), and has been the technical term for a runny nose since 1866. There is no real need for treatment of a runny nose as it usually clears up spontaneously, but in more serious cases there are medical treatments available, as well as simple home remedies.
Runny noses are more common during the cold, wet winter months, and any time there is a significant drop in temperature. During winter, the body secretes extra mucus in the nose so that inhaled air is warmed as it enters the body. This natural regulatory mechanism helps to keep the body warm. A runny nose may also be a symptom of hay fever or the common cold. Again, the mucus membranes secrete extra mucus in order to trap any bacteria and prevent it from passing into the lungs and respiratory tract, where it may potentially cause severe illness.
The good news is that there are simple ways to ease the distress caused by a runny nose. The following home remedies can alleviate the symptoms and help clear your runny nose more quickly.
Blow it away!
The most simple and obvious way to get relief from a runny nose is to blow away the excess mucus. Over time, the nasal cavity is filled with the gradual discharge of mucus, and it needs to be cleared, otherwise it can cause breathing problems. Use a soft disposable tissue to reduce the risk of infection and avoid irritation and soreness around the nose.
Massage it away!
One simple remedy to get a little relief from a runny nose is to massage downwards, applying slight pressure to the corners of the nose, the cheekbones and the face. This can help to ease sinus congestion and relieve headaches, and since it is a drug-free remedy, you can do it as often as you like!
Massaging your earlobe for a few seconds can also bring temporary relief for a runny nose. This may seem strange, but massaging pressure points such as the earlobes is a well-known remedy for runny noses which has been used with success since the 19th century.
Nasal irrigation involves introducing a suitable liquid into the nasal cavity to clear the mucus and open up the nasal cavity. Use salt water or even plain water, and a special syringe to inject the liquid into the nasal cavity. Always use cool boiled water to reduce the risk of infection or further irritation of the nasal passages.