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Runny Nose
That leaky thing in the middle of your face

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Rhinitis is usually what causes your runny nose. Rhinitis just means that the mucus membranes inside your nose are inflamed. Your runny nose could be caused by an infection (like a cold or the flu) or by cold weather, allergies, crying, irritating smells, or particles in the air.

How does a runny nose start?

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Before your nose started running, bacteria, allergens or a virus attacked and irritated your nose’s lining, which triggered an inflammatory reaction. This inflammation caused mucus production to go into overdrive.

Your excess mucus will usually start off clear and runny. This extra, clear mucus is your body trying to get rid of the germs or irritating substance.

Your mucus may change color in a few days as your immune system fights to rid your body of the bacteria, allergen or virus.

How to stop a runny nose

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Most people wish getting rid of their runny nose was as easy as turning a magical mucus faucet “off.”

While it’s not exactly that easy, there are still simple things you can do to feel better, like:

  • Periodically blow your nose or sniff and swallow your mucus
  • A cooling vaporizer, hot steam inhalation, or flushing your nose out with a salt-water solution may help
  • Drinking lots of fluids will help thin your dried mucus

It is also possible that your runny nose is the result of allergies. Please refer to our Allergy section for more information on how to control allergy symptoms.

How Mucinex® products can help

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If you have rhinitis, you want to calm the inflammation in your nose’s mucus membranes. You’ll want a decongestant, like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine. A decongestant will help reduce nasal tissue swelling.

If you’re dealing with allergies or a runny nose, you should look for an antihistamine, like diphenhydramine for nighttime use or non-drowsy fexofenadine.

Products containing pseudoephedrine can be found behind your pharmacist’s counter.

Use as directed.

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When Should I Call My Doctor?

  1. If your runny nose does not improve with over-the-counter medication
  2. If new symptoms occur
  3. If your symptoms do not improve with over-the-counter medication

Major In Mucus

Become a mucus expert with Mucus 101. Here you’ll get all your phlegmy questions answered.