Anything that irritates the inside of the nose can cause a runny nose. Infections — such as colds, flu or sinusitis — and allergies often cause runny and stuffy noses. Some people have noses that run all the time without a known reason. This is called nonallergic rhinitis or vasomotor rhinitis.

A polyp, an object such as a small toy stuck in the nose, or a tumor might cause the nose to run from only one side. Sometimes migraine-like headaches can cause a runny nose.

Causes of a runny nose include:

  1. Acute sinusitis
  2. Allergies
  3. Chronic sinusitis
  4. Churg-Strauss syndrome
  5. Common cold
  6. Decongestant nasal spray overuse
  7. Deviated septum
  8. Dry or cold air
  9. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  10. Hormonal changes
  11. Influenza (flu)
  12. Object in the nose
  13. Medicines, such as those used to treat high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, depression, seizures and other conditions
  14. Nasal polyps
  15. Nonallergic rhinitis
  16. Pregnancy
  17. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  18. Tobacco smoke

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

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April 07, 2023

See also

  1. Alcohol intolerance
  2. Allergies
  3. Allergy medications: Know your options
  4. Allergy-proof your home
  5. Alpha-gal syndrome
  6. Aspergillosis
  7. Avoid rebound nasal congestion
  8. Bronchiolitis
  9. Can chicken soup cure a cold?
  10. Chicken soup: Can it treat a cold?
  11. Chronic cough
  12. Chronic daily headaches
  13. Cluster headache
  14. Cold and flu viruses: How long can they live outside the body?
  15. Cold or allergy: Which is it?
  16. Cold remedies
  17. Cold symptoms: Does drinking milk increase phlegm?
  18. Common cold
  19. Common cold in babies
  20. Does zinc work for colds?
  21. Dust mite allergy
  22. Flu shots
  23. Flu: When to see a doctor?
  24. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  25. Have a cold? Common sense rules
  26. Have a cold? Fight back with humidity
  27. Have a cold? Fight it with fluids
  28. Headaches 101: Know your type
  29. Headaches and hormones
  30. Headaches in children
  31. Headaches: Treatment depends on your diagnosis and symptoms
  32. High-dose flu vaccines: How are they different from other flu vaccines?
  33. Humidifier care 101
  34. Humidifiers
  35. Influenza (flu)
  36. Measles
  37. Measles vaccine: Can I get the measles if I've already been vaccinated?
  38. Milk allergy
  39. MRSA infection
  40. Nasal Cleaning
  41. Nasal polyps
  42. Neti pot: Can it clear your nose?
  43. Nighttime headaches: Relief
  44. Nonallergic rhinitis
  45. Pain Management
  46. Peanut allergy
  47. Pet allergy
  48. Plugged ears: What is the remedy?
  49. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  50. Roseola
  51. Rubella
  52. Stress and headaches: Stop the cycle
  53. Stuffy nose? Try saline spray
  54. Swollen lymph nodes
  55. Vicks VapoRub: An effective nasal decongestant?
  56. Vitamin C: Can it prevent colds?
  57. Warm-mist versus cool-mist humidifier: Which is better for a cold?
  58. Whooping cough
  59. Whooping cough
  60. Do zinc supplements shorten colds?