With all the viruses bouncing around, it’s common to have a runny nose this time of year. But if you’re constantly reaching for a tissue for longer than two weeks, it’s a good idea to see a doctor to determine what’s going on.
What Causes a Runny Nose?
Your nose will run when there is excess drainage produced by nasal tissues and blood vessels. This can happen due to irritants and inflammation from colds and allergies, from an infection such as sinusitis, or from a blockage in the nasal cavity. Drainage runs throughout your sinuses, so it can come out of your nose or down the back of your throat.
How Can an ENT Help My Runny Nose?
An ear, nose and throat doctor can talk to you about your symptoms and examine you to determine what’s causing your nose to run. Some conditions and corresponding treatments an ENT can offer include:
Allergies – A runny nose and allergies usually go hand in hand. Allergens cause irritation to your sinuses, causing your nose to run. Allergy treatments such as immunotherapy (or allergy shots) will gradually introduce the allergen into your immune system so it can be better tolerated.
Chronic Sinusitis – If you deal with a constant runny nose and sinusitis, you may benefit from balloon sinuplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that opens up your nasal passage to allow drainage to flow more easily to prevent bacteria from settling into your sinuses.
Deviated Septum or Nasal Polyps – Structural issues in your nose may be preventing normal drainage from getting through. An ENT surgeon can restructure your septum or remove polyps to correct this.
Lodged object – A foreign body may have made its way into the nose, irritating the sinuses. This is most common in children. A doctor has special tools that allow him to gently look deep into the nose and remove the object.
When Should I Call a Doctor About My Runny Nose?
You can try nasal saline spray to help flush out irritants, or an antihistamine to minimize allergy discomfort. If that doesn’t help and you have any of the following symptoms, call a doctor at Sound Health.
• Your nose is running for more than two weeks.
• You have a high fever.
• Your nasal discharge is yellow and green and is accompanied by sinus pain.
• You have had a head injury and have blood in your nasal discharge.
• Your child is younger than 2 months and is running a fever.
• Your baby’s runny nose is causing trouble nursing or makes breathing difficult.
Sound Health ENT Physicians Treat Many Conditions That Cause a Runny Nose
Whether you have a runny nose and sinusitis or suffer from a constant runny nose from allergies, our doctors can develop a treatment plan for you. Don’t keep buying tissues in bulk. Call us today at (314) 332-1377 in Missouri or (618) 235-3687 in Illinois.