The Air is Dry…so why is My Nose Running?

A comment to a recent blog post about distinguishing between a cold and allergies got us thinking.

During the winter months, people sometimes experience a runny nose. It could be due to extreme cold or from being inside in the heat. You might also experience in a dry environment such as in arid climate or on an airplane.

Why does this happen? We asked our resident expert, Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD, FAANP and owner of the Allergy Sinus and Asthma Family Health Center.

airplane travel, nasal spray, nasal irrigation, saline spray, herbal-enhanced, dehydrated,

Being in a dry or very cold environment can cause your nose to run.

Neuzil says it’s a defense mechanism of sorts:

“It’s a compensatory response by the body in response to the dry air,” said Neuzil. “The purpose of the nose in essence is a filter. It filters out dirt, pollen and other contaminants it also moisture and heat to the air before getting to the lungs.

Basically, the nose is producing increased fluid to do what it was designed to do.

“If you notice many times a person’s nose will drain excessively during cold weather. For the most part, it’s clear and can be very excessive. When a nose becomes too dry it can become very congested as well so the nose will make extra moisture to compensate.”

One way to counter the excessive moisture is to add some to your sinuses. A moisturizing saline spray can give your nose a little extra fluid to keep it healthy while potentially avoiding an “overflow.”

Coincidentally, Neuzil developed an herbal-enhanced, non-medicate nasal spray. Dr. Neuzil’s Irrigator nasal cleansing spray essential oils have natural moisturizing properties that help keep nasal passages healthy.


2 responses to this post.

  1. it often happens to me when i eat food of extreme temperatures (really hot or really cold).
    also when its cold outside :p


  2. To prevent nosebleeds is important to avoid pressure surges (those typical of rapid ascent in ‘surface diving) and control any diseases that cause bleeding from the nose.

    If this occurs it is good to remain calm as anxiety seems to be an aggravating factor the bleeding. nose Bleeds with runny nose

    The preventive measures against the Runny Nose are generic and mainly affect the cases of primary epistaxis:

    Avoid pressure surges: a striking example is that of the fleeting lift of a scuba diver. On the other hand, such conduct could cause the more serious complications that a banal nose bleeding (see Decompression Sickness – MDD).
    Control any diseases that cause bleeding from the nose and prevent relapse; especially the common cold, the allergic rhinitis, the ‘ flu and generally all diseases affecting the nose. Cause inflammation / hypertrophy of the mucous membranes and their irritation, resulting in blowing his nose repeatedly.
    Do not expose the nasal membranes to volatile irritants.
    Do not unnecessarily use the drugs intranasal.
    Do not expose the nasal membranes to physical stress.
    Prevent heat stroke.
    Follow a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and other nutrients that can improve the condition of the vessels.


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