What causes a runny nose?

An array of triggers, from seasonal allergies to the common cold, can kickstart mucus production. Although this is a natural protective measure of the body to trap and eradicate microscopic invaders, the body’s immune response can be extreme. At our clinic, we understand how bothersome excessive mucus can be, and we’re equipped with various treatments to address the root cause of this symptom.

Strategies for managing nasal drainage

The key to effective treatment lies in identifying the underlying cause. Pinpointing the underlying cause is essential, be it an allergic reaction or a persistent infection. Following a precise diagnosis, we can tailor a treatment plan that best suits your condition.

Potential treatments for nasal drainage could include:

  • Medications: Over-the-counter remedies may offer quick relief by reducing inflammation or drying up the mucus.
  • Sublingual allergy immunotherapy: Custom-blended for your specific allergens, our sublingual drops can ease allergy-induced drainage.
  • Minimally invasive procedures: For cases tied to sinus issues, procedures like balloon sinuplasty might be recommended to facilitate better drainage.
  • Next-generation therapies: Techniques such as ClariFix® cryotherapy and RhinAer® radiofrequency ablation target the underlying causes of chronic rhinitis, potentially offering a lasting solution.

Surgical intervention might be advised to ensure proper nasal function for persistent or structural-related nasal drainage.

Background media

What causes chronic nasal drainage?

The human body generates large quantities of mucus every day, which helps the system defend against pathogens. Under the usual circumstances, mucus discreetly disappears down the throat. However it is impossible to ignore when the mucus consistency changes or increases.


Symptoms can be as mild as a runny nose to more disruptive issues like:

  • A constant runny nose
  • Persistent coughing
  • Frequent throat clearing
  • Irritation or soreness in the throat
  • Upset stomach or discomfort
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • General weariness
  • Voice changes or hoarseness

Why choose Louisiana ENT Specialists?

For decades, Louisiana ENT Specialists have been the go-to ENT practice in Louisiana. We pride ourselves on delivering care that’s both personal and precise, tailored to how your symptoms affect your daily life. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in:

  • Tailored care: Each patient receives care customized to their specific ENT needs.
  • A network of experts: Our clinics are staffed with board-certified ear, nose, and throat specialists skilled and experienced in treating a wide range of ENT conditions, including a chronic runny nose.
  • Quality, personalized assistance: From the first contact, our patient experience is warm, caring, and hassle-free.
  • Same-day appointments: We are here to serve the community, and provide the care and attention they deserve, without a long wait to see a specialist.

Nasal Drainage FAQs

What causes nasal drainage?

Nasal drainage can be caused by various factors, including allergies, colds, flu, sinus infections, changes in weather, certain foods, and irritants such as smoke and pollution.

When should I see a doctor for nasal drainage?

You should see a doctor if your nasal drainage is persistent, accompanied by high fever, involves green or yellow mucus which may indicate an infection, or if it’s impacting your quality of life.

Can nasal drainage be a sign of something serious?

While often not serious, chronic nasal drainage can sometimes indicate underlying health issues such as chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, or other respiratory tract infections. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis.

How is the cause of nasal drainage determined?

The cause can often be determined by your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor may also perform a physical examination, allergy testing, or imaging tests like an X-ray or CT scan to diagnose the cause.

Are there home remedies for nasal drainage?

Yes, simple remedies like staying hydrated, using saline nasal sprays, inhaling steam, and using a humidifier can help. However, these are temporary solutions and won’t address the underlying cause.

What over-the-counter medications can help with nasal drainage?

Over-the-counter antihistamines can help if allergies are the cause. Decongestants may reduce swelling and open nasal passages, and nasal corticosteroids can reduce inflammation.

Is nasal drainage different from a runny nose?

Nasal drainage refers to mucus that can either run out the nose or down the back of the throat. A runny nose is specifically when mucus exits through the nostrils.

Can children and infants suffer from nasal drainage?

Yes, children and infants can experience nasal drainage. It’s important to consult a pediatrician since some medications are not suitable for children.

How can allergies be confirmed as the cause of nasal drainage?

Allergies can be confirmed with skin prick tests or blood tests that check for specific antibodies related to common allergens.

Can nasal drainage be prevented?

While not all causes can be prevented, managing allergies, avoiding irritants, and practicing good hygiene can reduce the risk of experiencing nasal drainage.

Will I need surgery to treat my nasal drainage?

Surgery is generally considered only when other treatments have failed, and if there is a structural issue, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps, that’s causing the drainage.

How long does it typically take to recover from nasal drainage?

Recovery time depends on the underlying cause. Allergy-induced drainage can be managed quickly, while viral illnesses may take a week or more. Chronic conditions may require ongoing treatment.

With 6 convenient locations around the Louisiana area, we're never far away.

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