Runny nose can be caused by anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissues. Infections — such as the common cold and influenza — allergies and various irritants may all cause a runny nose. Some people have a chronically runny nose for no apparent reason — a condition called nonallergic rhinitis or vasomotor rhinitis (VMR).

Less commonly, runny nose can be caused by polyps, a foreign body, a tumor or migraine-like headaches.

Causes of runny nose include:

  1. Acute sinusitis (sinus infection)
  2. Allergies
  3. Chronic sinusitis
  4. Churg-Strauss syndrome
  5. Common cold
  6. Decongestant nasal spray overuse
  7. Deviated septum
  8. Drug addiction (substance use disorder)
  9. Dry air
  10. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's granulomatosis)
  11. Hormonal changes
  12. Influenza (flu)
  13. Lodged object
  14. Medications
  15. Nasal polyps
  16. Nonallergic rhinitis (chronic congestion or sneezing not related to allergies)
  17. Occupational asthma
  18. Pregnancy
  19. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  20. Spinal fluid leak
  21. Tobacco smoke

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Jan. 11, 2018