What Causes A Runny Nose?

Nobody likes having a runny nose and finding the right cold medicine to remedy the problem can be a bit of a challenge. With all the medications on the market, consumers don’t know which products or ingredients will truly help without a bit of trial and error.

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What causes a nose to run?

A runny nose is a symptom of inflamed nasal tissues. These tissues become inflamed when a foreign object enters the nasal passageway, such as an allergen. Therefore, the body produces mucus to drive the allergen out of the passageway. Mucus is usually clear but sometimes can become yellowish or green. This is a sign of infection, a more serious problem that requires medical attention. There are, however, numerous over-the-counter medicine to help deal with these symptoms until a doctor’s visit.

What Ingredients should you look for?

An antihistamine is the best medicine for allergy-related runny noses. Antihistamines block histamines, the culprit behind common allergy symptoms such as watery eyes and runny noses. Diphenhydramine and chlorpheniramine are the two most common antihistamines, but they cause drowsiness. Alternatives like cetirizine provide more targeted treatment for longer time periods without the drowsy side effects.

Will a decongestant make it worse?

A decongestant is primarily used for people suffering from runny noses and coughs. Decongestants get to the root of the problem and shrink inflamed blood vessels in the nasal tissue, essentially limiting the amount of mucus the body secretes. To find a decongestant, look for medicines with oxymetazoline, phenylephrine, and pseudoephedrine.

How to take these medications?

Most of these medications come in pill, syrup, and liquid spray form. What’s universal about each form is that the manufacturers include detailed instructions on the packaging. There are also nasal strips available for people dealing with runny noses. These strips, made of flexible material, open the nasal passages reducing nasal inflammation. Strips also come with instructions to encourage proper usage. Always follow the directions on the medication packaging to understand how and when to take a dosage.

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