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Rhinorrhea – Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

by Ana

Rhinorrhea Definition

The term Rhinorrhea is derived from combination of Greek words. “rhinos” and “rrhea”, rhinos refers to Nose and rrhea refers to implying flow or discharge.

The rhinorrhea is defined as a discharge of Nasal Fluids. It is a common symptom of Hay Fever and cold. It can also be a symptom of Drug withdrawal.

It is normally caused by the inflammation of Tissues and Vessels in the Nasal passage.

It is also known as Runny Nose or Rhinitis.


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Types of Rhinorrhea

Rhinorrhea is divided on the basis of nature of condition and the causes for it.

  1. Allergy
    Rhinitis is caused due to an Allergy. It is known as “Allergic Rhinitis”.
  2. Non-Allergic Rhinitis
    The Rhinitis caused due to other reasons is known as Non- Allergic Rhinitis.
  3. Gustatory Rhinorrhea
    Gustatory Rhinorrhea is caused after eating something that may cause this condition.
  4. Purulent Rhinorrhea
    Purulent Rhinorrhea can be caused due to side-effects of Antibiotics.
  5. Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea
    The Nasal flow is linked with the discharge of Cerebrospinal Fluids; it takes place in case of Basal Skull fracture, it is referred to “Cerebrospinal Fluid Rhinorrhea or  CSF Rhinorrhea.

Symptoms of Rhinorrhea

Rhinorrhea itself is a symptom of infectious diseases, allergies, irritation etc. It has few more symptoms than Runny Nose.

The discharge of Mucosa from the Nose, which may be clear, Yellowish, Greenish or Brownish by nature is a common symptom of Rhinnorhea.

The people who suffer from clear Rhinorrhea, the nature and the color of the fluid secreted is White.

Some other symptoms of Rhinorrhea include

  • Nasal Congestion
  • Sinusitis
  • Sneezing
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of Conciousness
  • Confused mind
  • Sore Throat
  • Chills
  • Pain in the Ear and Face
  • Weariness
  • Bleeding by Nose
  • Breathing problems
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Erythema
  • Malaise etc

Serious Traumatic Symptoms

The serious Traumatic complications may display symptoms like

  • Fainting
  • Bleeding
  • Vomiting.

It is usually caused by a Head Injury or Injury in the Spine which affects the Nervous System.

Causes of Rhinorrhea

Rhinorrhea is condition that cannot be caused by a single cause; there are multiple causes of this disorder, following are the causes of Rhinorrhea

  1. Allergies
    This disorder can be caused due to an Allergy like Hay Fever or invasion of foreign materials in the Nostrils through Air or Dust.The Allergens may include Soy, Latex, Wheat, Pet, Shellfish, Pet Allergens and Pollen etc.The Allergens that cause Rhinorrhea is known as “Allergic Rhinitis”.
  2. Infections
    Infections by the Viral and Bacterial agents like cold and Influenza can also activate the same. These agents are responsible for Respiratory Infections.
  3. Bronchiolitis
    It is caused by a Viral Infection which is the important cause of Rhinorrhea in children. Children are the common sufferers of this disorder.
  4. Sinusitis
    It is also one of the most significant reasons for causing Rhinorrhea. It can show itself in both the Acute and Chronic forms.The Acute form comes forward when an individual suffers from Cold and Flu. Due to this cause the Sinuses or Nasal passage swells.The Chronic form of this condition is seen when people suffer from Nasal growths. This growth triggers an infection in Nasal Septum. This condition is also known as Nasal Polyps.
  5. Irritants
    Irritants including Nail Polish remover, Paint fumes, Cosmetics, Garbage fumes and Dust are some of the irritants that can be a cause of Rhinorrhea.
  6. Spicy Foods
    The food products, which are rich in Spices such as Capsicum, Chilli Peppers and other chemicals can cause inflammation in the Nasal tissues cause the Nasal discharge which is watery in nature.
  7. Head Injury
    An injury to the Brain and some Traumatic experiences can cause Rhinorrhea. The cause can very severe.Basilar Skull fracture can also be a cause for Cerebrospinal Rhinorrhea.
  8. Environmental Causes
    The irritants that are present in the environment including compounds of Garlic, Onions, CS Gas or Tear Gas and dry weather can be a cause of runny Nose.An extremely sensitive reaction to these irritants can cause the Vasomotor Rhinitis.

Other Causes of Rhinorrhea

The other reasons for the occurrence of Rhinorrhea include:

  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Whooping Cough
  • Nasal Tumors
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Cluster Headaches
  • Measles
  • Chicken Pox
  • Respiratory disorders like Kartagener Syndrome, Respiratory Syncytial Virus.
  • Wegener’s Granulomatosis can also cause Rhinorrhea.

Diagnosis of Rhinorrhea

The symptoms of Rhinorrhea indicate the nature and the kind of Rhinorrhea from which a person is suffering.
The physical examination of Rhinorrhea is composed of inspection of Face and Nose especially the area near the Maxillary and Frontal Sinuses.

The nature and the color of discharge are taken for the test.

The Rhinorrhea test involves the cell culture of Nasal fluid and Acid-liable RNA virus test.

The patients suffering from Invasive Sinusitis, Diabetes undergo CT scan for a complete diagnosis.

Treatment of Rhinorrhea

The treatment of Rhinorrhea depends on the underlying cause of this disorder.
Sometimes it does not need any treatment and it stops by itself, the serious conditions are triggered by Serious Neurological and other related conditions.

Medical Treatment:

Rhinorrhea can be treated with Antihistamines like Claritin, Zyrtec, Tylenol Cold, Tavist and Benadryl.

Tropical decongestants like Oxymetazoline and Pseudoephedrine are also highly effective. They help in stopping the discharge from the Nose.

The combination of Antihistamines and Decongestants helps to deal with Rhinorrhea.

The use of Nasal Sprays like Vasoconstrictor is effective for curing Rhinorrhea for a short time. The overuse of these sprays can cause severe Rhinorrhea.

These sprays help to fight against Rhinorrhea caused as a result of Allergies.

All such type of medications is available but one should use them under the supervision of doctor. They specifically provide a relief from CSF Rhinorrhea treatment.

The patients should also go for Nasal irrigation on regular basis that involves cleaning and rinsing of Nose with Saline Water.

The problem can also be decreased with the increased rate of Water intake and increasing Humidity in the Air.

This can be done with drinking lot of fruit juices, Water and using cool mist humidifier. The basic aim of all these things is to make the Mucus thin.

Home Remedies for Rhinorrhea

Following are the useful homeremedies for Rhinorrhea

Rhinorrhea can be treated at home with the use of Neti Pot. Neti Pot is best for cleaning, rinsing Nose and Flushing the Nasal cavity. Neti Pot contains Saline solution in it which is made of Salt and purified Water.

If Neti Pot is not available, one can go for Shot glass or a Bulb Syringe. It may also work.

Taking Herbal steam bath is good for Rhinorrheas. It able an individual to inhale the Moist Air that evaporates from the boiling pot of Water. If you add few drops of Eucalyptus Oil in it and breathe in it for few minutes, covering your head forming a tent, it will give you relief from the Choked Nose.

Humidifier is a device that helps in the recovery of Rhinorrhea. These home remedies are very helpful, if Rhinorrhea is caused by Cold and Flu.

Avoiding spicy foods, Alcohol and Caffeinated beverages is helpful in the recovery of Gustatory Rhinorrhea treatment.

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1 comment

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