Chronic Rhinitis and Abnormal Nasal Secretions - Causes

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Causes vary: what conditions caused your abnormal production of nasal secretions?

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What conditions cause an abnormal production of nasal secretions?

The following conditions are often associated with increased nasal drainage (runny nose). It is common to have more than one factor involved in a particular individual.

  • Viruses
  • Allergies
  • Cold temperatures
  • Certain foods or spices
  • Pregnancy or hormonal changes
  • Drug side-effects (particularly certain high blood pressure medications)
  • Structural problems (deviated septum, large turbinates)
  • Vasomotor rhinitis (an abnormal regulatory problem with the nose)

Decreasing the fluid content of the mucus usually thickens the secretions leading to the impression of increased mucus. The following may cause thickened secretions:

  • Low humidity
  • Sinus or nasal infections
  • Foreign bodies (especially if the drainage is from one side)
  • Environmental irritants (tobacco smoke, smog)
  • Structural problems (deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, enlarged adenoids)
  • Advanced age - mucus membrane lining the nose can shrink with age leading to a reduced volume of secretions that are thicker
  • Hormonal problems
  • Drug side-effects (antihistamines)
Return to Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip

See what others are saying

Comment from: C.R.C., 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 04

I had surgery on my nose to remove 2 small basal cell carcinomas. The doctor elected to do a flap on each. First one for a spot on the tip of my nose was a flap starting above and between my eyebrows all the way down to the tip of my nose. The second, a teeny spot on the side of my nostril was another flap involving the entire bottom side nostril. I now have a continuous nasal drip on that side nostril. The surgery was about six weeks ago.

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Comment from: cmk, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I've had sinus drainage for my entire life. In 3rd grade I would get sick in the morning with all the mucus that drained into my stomach. My doctor put me on Dallergy JR. Eventually I took Zyrtec every night. I saw an allergist, so they said I have 'environmental rhinitis' because I didn't react to anything abnormally. I'm 20 today and I still have this problem. I want to find a natural solution for it because I have a hard time exercising without choking on mucus.

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