A runny nose is an excess drainage, which may range from a clear fluid to thick mucus, produced by the nasal and adjacent tissues and blood vessels in the nose. The drainage of a runny nose may run out of your nose or down the back of your throat or both.
Rhinorrhoea refers to a thin, relatively clear nasal discharge. Rhinitis refers to inflammation of the nasal tissues from a number of causes, which usually results in a runny nose.
Nasal congestion may or may not accompany a runny nose
- A runny nose can be caused by anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissues. Infections such as the common cold, allergies and various irritants may all cause a runny nose. Some people have a chronically runny nose for no apparent reason — a condition called non-allergic rhinitis or vasomotor rhinitis (VMR).
- Sinusitis means sinus inflammation. Most sinusitis attacks are caused by an infection. Sinusitis is said to be acute if it lasts from 4-30 days and sub-acute if it lasts from 4-12 weeks. A minor acute sinusitis attack is common and many people will have some sinusitis with a cold. A few people have periodic acute sinusitis attacks.
A diagnostic nasal endoscopy( DNE) with a good case history will reveal most causes of the nasal disease.
CT scan of the paranasal sinuses ( PNS) is reserved for difficult to diagnose cases or before surgery ( as a roadmap to the extent of disease).
- Medical management works in most cases.
- FESS ( Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery) if it develops into a chronic sinusitis.