A runny and irritated nose may cause problems in your daily life. It can also be a sign of allergy. A runny nose is one of several symptoms often seen in connection with allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. In addition to a red nose and runny clear mucus, it is common to be affected by nasal congestion and repeated sneezing. Many people also experience symptoms in the eyes, itching, watery and turn red.
When suffering from allergic rhinitis your nose will run more or less constantly. Starting out it is easily mistaken for a common cold but there are important differences. While the mucus of a runny nose due to a cold becomes thick and slow running after a while, allergic mucus is thin and clear. A cold will pass in about a week while hay fever may last for weeks and return at the same time every year. If you suffer from repeated or prolonged problems with a runny nose it is important for you to contact a doctor who can diagnose it.
Rhinitis, hay fever, is an inflammation that causes fluid production in your nose, sinuses and eyes. Allergic rhinitis may be seasonal or last all year round, and is most often caused by airborne allergens. The most common cause for a runny nose during certain times of the year is allergy to birch- or grass pollen. The troubles are worsened during the time of the pollen blooming, when many people with allergies, in addition to their usual symptoms, also feel tired and weak. All year round rhinitis (perennial rhinitis) is most often caused by allergies to pets or dust mites. 20% of the UK population are affected by allergic rhinitis.1
1. https://www.allergyuk.org/allergy-statistics/allergy-statistics. Date accessed November 2015.
UK/GEN/15/0057d Date of preparation: December 2015