Have you ever found yourself running out of tissue during a cardio or HIIT workout? You don't have allergies, and you aren't sick, so why does your nose run like a sieve when you exercise?
A runny nose is a common symptom of many different illnesses. It can be a sign of the common cold, COVID-19, a nasal allergy, or even a more serious illness such as asthma.
It can also be caused by a condition known as chronic rhinitis, which is a very annoying and frustrating thing to deal with!
Rhinitis is a medical term for inflammation of the membranes in your nose that are responsible for regulating mucus production. It usually involves the symptoms of a runny nose, congestion and watery eyes but can be much more severe.
There are two major types of rhinitis: allergic and non-allergic. The latter is more common in the elderly and may be triggered by irritants such as chemicals, fumes or strong odors.
Exercising outdoors can aggravate rhinitis because your nostrils are exposed to more pollen and dust that you would typically breathe in at rest.
The air you breathe in during exercise is also generally less oxygenated than the air at rest because you're breathing faster and deeper, allowing more pollutants to be inhaled into your lungs.
Depending on your doctor's diagnosis, you might be prescribed a prescription nasal spray or an antihistamine, if EIR is suspected. You might also need to reduce your exposure to irritants such as house dust and the chlorine in swimming pools. If you have an allergy, an ENT specialist can help you identify your allergens and provide treatments for any that are triggering your rhinitis.