Runny Nose When Exercising
Do you always get a runny nose when exercising? You could experience this in a gym or outside, whether you are lifting weights or running a race. It could also happen in both hot and cold weather, and even if you don’t suffer from allergies.
Why does my nose run when I exercise?
You aren’t imagining this. It is real and is called rhinitis. It occurs when the nasal mucous membranes are inflamed, resulting in sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, or an itchy nose. There are two types: allergic and nonallergic, and each of these are further broken down by what causes them. It has been found that exercise could cause either.
Exercise Induced Rhinitis
Exercise causes you to breathe deeper and faster, bringing large amounts of air into your body, along with a lot of allergens. Your nose acts as an air filter and captures irritants before they enter your body. Because of this increased amount of air, the process is ramped up, causing an overload. This makes your mucous membranes produce more mucous. However, when your body produces more mucous than is needed, it causes your nose to run and your eyes to water. This is what causes you to have a runny nose when exercising.
- often occurs with runners or cyclists, however any exercise can provoke it
- can be more prone in people who suffer from seasonal allergies
- is not weather dependent – it can occur in warm or cold weather, and
- athletes generally suffer from it more than people who don’t exercise regularly
- 27 – 74% of athletes have some type of rhinitis
What should you do if you have a runny nose when exercising? A quick fix could be to bring tissues with you. However, if this doesn’t solve the problem, and it persists, you should seek medical advice from your physician or an allergist.