You might be wondering why you get a runny nose when you exercise. The truth is, this is a common occurrence for most people. It’s not you alone. But have you ever wondered what happens or what causes a runny nose?
In this article, we’ll discuss with you everything you need to know about a runny nose during exercise.
The nose line wall inflammation mostly causes a runny nose when you exercise. The swelling trigger a number of symptoms which include watery eyes, runny nose, and congestion. They are also referred caused by seasonal allergies and are commonly called Rhinitis.
A runny nose when exercising is mostly common when doing outdoor activities. And the symptoms are more frequent during the summer and spring months. This is the period when seasonal allergies are at their highest. But if you’re experiencing these symptoms, you don’t have to worry about it. This is because of their simple ways of managing a runny nose and exercising without the nasty feeling.
But before we discuss the ways to manage a runny nose, let’s first understand the different forms of a runny nose.
Different Types of Rhinitis
Rhinitis could cause a runny nose. And they are either allergic or non-allergic. And it’s critical to understand the difference so that you can be sure of what’s happening to you when you’re exercising.
- Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic Rhinitis is commonly referred to as hay fever. It’s the most common form of rhinitis. And it is caused by the effect of the body’s system response to environmental factors. It’s a reaction that you might get after encountering an allergen or specific substance that could be harmful. Your body’s immune system produces an immediate reaction to protect the body from getting affected by allergens.
Sometimes the allergen gets into your body when you touch, ingest or breathe them. So, to destabilize them, the body produces antibodies to fight and neutralize them. And the antibodies are released every time an allergen is detected. They work as histamine in the bloodstream.
Most of the common allergens are dust, powder, or pollen. Other allergens include fungi, mould, and pet dander.
As the body tries to fight these allergens, you start experiencing symptoms such as a runny nose.
- Non-Allergic Rhinitis
It’s difficult to identify and diagnose non-allergic rhinitis. And it’s not common as Allergic Rhinitis. Mostly, it’s caused by blood vessel effects from different factors that end up producing congestion. It’s triggered by non-allergic components, which could include strong odours, perfumes, detergents, air pollution, tobacco, and weather changes, among other things. Sometimes a viral infection could trigger non-allergic rhinitis. The viral infection leads to the flu or the common cold.
Why Runny Nose When Exercising?
Exercise can trigger both types of Rhinitis. And it’s critical to understand your condition so that you may know how to manage the situation.
One of the reasons why you get a runny nose when exercising is because you are more exposed to different allergens. This is common to people who love outdoor exercise.
The exposures could be in either of the following ways.
- Outdoor Exercise or Running
When you’re carrying out any form of exercise outdoors, you might be exposed to allergens such as pollen. Some other times it could be dust. And consistently breathing these allergens triggers your immune system response. As a result, you end up with a runny nose. If you have an allergy to such elements, you will experience allergic rhinitis.
When you’re swimming in the pool, you’re exposed to chlorine and other chemicals. They activate the non-allergic rhinitis.
- Winter Sports
If you’re exercising or engaging in winter sports, you’re likely to suffer from rhinitis. This is because cold and dry air activates the non-allergic rhinitis. This is especially true when you’re not warm enough in extremely cold climates.
Sometimes this could occur when you’re hiking or climbing high mountains. As you’re at a high altitude, breathing becomes relatively difficult. And the cold temperatures in the mountains could cause rhinitis.
How To Deal With Runny Nose When Exercising
There are different ways to treat and manage a runny nose when exercising. It’s a combination of behaviour changes, homeopathic remedies, and medication. Here are specific ways to deal with each of these concerts.
- Behaviour Changes
The first thing you need to do is identify the allergen that’s causing your runny nose. This will help you reduce its exposure. For instance, if you realize that you’re affected by the pollen or dust in places where you carry out the exercise, then it’s good to avoid those areas. Avoid places that have allergens that trigger your runny nose.
This means not running in a forest with pollen grains, swimming in pools with a lot of chlorine, or exposing yourself to any allergen that’s affecting you.
- Home Remedies
Sometimes Rhinitis could even be triggered when you’re exercising at home or the gym. And that means it doesn’t have anything to do with outdoor allergens. But you can use simple home remedies to deal with these issues.
They could include:
- Exercising in a well-aerated environment
- Using dehumidifiers
- Using air cleaners and filters
- Regularly cleaning your home and removing pet hair and odour
- Just ensuring that your environment doesn’t have anything that triggers a runny nose
Sometimes the runny nose could last beyond the exercise period. And if this happens, then it’s advisable to get medication. This is especially true for rhinitis triggered by the virus or other components.
Different over-the-counter medications could help you alleviate rhinitis symptoms. They include:
These oral medications will help you fight the infections and runny nose that persists. The command antihistamines include Allegra, Zyrtec, and Claritin. However, you can always consult with your doctors to get the right prescription for your specific situation.
They can either be nasal spray or orally taken medication. Decongestants work by dealing with nasal congestion. And you can get your doctor to prescribe the best decongestants for your case. And you can use them every time you feel like your nasals are congested.
Exercise-induced rhinitis is not harmful. It’s just discomfort and a nuisance. That’s why you don’t have to worry much about it. A nasal spray might be all you need if the runny nose bothers you. However, if the runny nose persists beyond exercise, it could mean you’re dealing with serious rhinitis. Every time the symptoms persist, always seek medical attention.