Why does my nose run when I run?

Does it ever seem like your nose gets excessively runny when you’re exercising?

It’s real, it’s pretty normal and it has a name.

It’s called exercise-induced rhinitis, and it’s more common in winter. It’s also most common in people who exercise outside; however, it can occur in indoor exercisers as well, according to Julie Downing, the director of the exercise physiology lab at Central Oregon Community College.

It’s not harmful, but the constant nose wiping can be irritating.

“It’s simply an inflammation or irritation of the nasal passageways caused by some sort of trigger, such as irritants in the air, dust, smog, changes in humidity and/or temperature, or strong odors,” Downing said.

Some research supports the notion that it is more severe where there are more pollutants in the air, such as nitrogen dioxide from automobile exhaust. If it gets excessive, it would be worth identifying the trigger and avoiding it if possible.

Also, Downing said, rinsing the nasal passageways with a neti pot or bulb syringe may help. Blowing the nose regularly to remove irritants from the nasal passageways and maintaining proper hydration can also help prevent excessive runny nose, said Downing. Use of a humidifier if exercising indoors can help, too.

— Anne Aurand, The Bulletin