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Permanent cold - how it develops and what helps against it
Is your nose constantly blocked, whether the sun is shining or the storm is raging? Do you constantly have difficulty breathing or even sleep disorders? Then you are probably suffering from constant runny nose. There are various triggers under this collective term: pollen allergies, tobacco smoke or a curved nasal septum.
Symptoms of runny nose
Is her nose always irritated? Does she run on a tour? Do these symptoms last for weeks and months? Then doctors speak of chronic rhinitis, in German it means constant runny nose.
Typical symptoms of runny nose are:
- Flowing runny nosewhich makes breathing through the nose difficult or even impossible
- Swollen nasal mucosaassociated with pain in the nostrils
- Irritated throat, You have to clear your throat and cough
- Persistent feeling of exhaustion
- Decrease in physical performance, Feeling weak, chronic fatigue
- As with a flu infection, can too Pain in the head and limbs occur, but do not have to
Don't take it lightly
If you suffer from persistent colds, you should definitely consult a doctor. The constant irritation damages the nasal mucosa and can trigger secondary diseases. Chronic runny nose is a prime trigger for sinusitis and allergic asthma. Inflammation of the middle ear, inflammation of the pleura or even meningitis can be the result.
Even if it doesn't turn out to be so dramatic, the constant inflammation causes the immune system to crumble. The result: you suffer from sleep problems and feel dull - often also slightly "permanently ill", as with a decaying flu infection. Your well-being suffers sustainably.
Causes of constant runny nose
Persistent runny nose has many causes. Allergy sufferers suffer from it, as do people with a weak immune system who often develop a cold, those who live permanently in a foreign climate that their bodies have not adjusted to or those who are constantly exposed to car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke and various pollutants.
Other possible causes of persistent colds include:
- Pollen allergy and hay fever
- Animal hair allergy
- Atrophic rhinitis (“Stinknase”) and Rhinitis hypertrophica
- Nasal polyps and Nasal tumors
- Hypersensitivity the nose
- Anatomical peculiarities such as one curved nasal septum
- Inflammation of the sinuses
- Otitis media
- Are less common psychological causes like stress, burnout or psychosis.
- Very rarely and especially irritating in children foreign body the nasal mucosa.
Persistent rash in allergy and hay fever
Hay fever, medically called Rhinitis allergica, is caused by pollen from flowers and grasses. The body reacts to this with defense molecules, which can ignite the nasal mucous membranes. The symptoms are the same as for allergies to dust mites, mold, food, flour, wood dust or hair dye. Constant runny nose occurs when an allergy sufferer is in constant contact with the triggering substances.
Basic diseases that produce the symptoms are, for example, fungal infections or tuberculosis.
Medications also irritate the nasal mucous membranes. These include the birth control pill, nasal sprays, acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin, meadowsweet, goat willow) or remedies for high blood pressure.
If we take decongestant nasal sprays for too long, this sometimes leads to the nasal mucosa being broken down. Crusts form and breathing through the nose is disturbed. The sense of smell also diminishes.
Constant runny nose due to cold
A cold is usually the cause, especially in winter. Viruses cause inflammation of the nasal mucosa here. A cold starts with itching in the nose. Sufferers have to sneeze and watery mucus flows from the nose.
Persistent runny nose occurs when the inflammation spreads to the sinuses. Then the mucous membranes swell and release purulent fluid. These in turn trigger the constantly runny nose. There are also headaches and sometimes fever.
As soon as it festering, you should not only rely on home remedies for a cold, but immediately consult a doctor. Inflammation of the sinuses can spread to the brain.
The stink nose
Scientists call it rhinitis atrophicans or ozaena. Since germs that smell rotten spread with this disease, the expression "stink nose" applies. The stench is just as uncomfortable for those affected as for other people. In addition, patients are suspected of not paying attention to their personal hygiene. This disease has nothing to do with it.
The cause is probably genetic. The tissues of the nasal mucosa and the nasal turbinate shrink. As a result, germs penetrate. Women are affected more often than men, and symptoms usually show up during puberty.
A stink nose also arises from nasal tumors or malformations of the nasal septum as well as from unsuccessful operations.
With hypertrophic rhinitis, the volume of the turbinates increases. This narrows your nose and causes inflammation such as constant runny nose.
This cumbersome name denotes a disease in which the body's own defenses themselves cause inflammation. The nose, throat, bronchi and lungs are affected. The chronic runny nose is bloody, crusts form in the nose, and the sinuses become inflamed. The disease is associated with symptoms like a flu infection, especially fatigue and headache.
In the advanced stage, the bridge of the nose deforms into a saddle nose. Nodules form in the connective tissue.
Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease, which means that it affects various organs in the body system. The nose, ears, lungs, eyes and skin are often attacked.
Chronic sarcoidosis includes constant runny nose, shortness of breath, cough, fever, night sweats and weight loss. The cause is unknown.
With many diseases, persistent sniffing is not a leading symptom, but it occurs as a result. For example, in the later stage of syphilis. Ulcers form and the tissue breaks down. If the nose is now affected, this loss of tissue or the blockage of the nasal passages through proliferation leads to constant colds.
Cystic fibrosis often causes sinus infections, which inevitably lead to chronic runny nose. This disease is genetic: mucus forms on different organs in the body. In the nose, this mucus leads to constant runny nose, but since the lungs, heart and pancreas are also affected, this is a minor problem.
The disease is very rare. It only breaks out when both copies of the CFTR gene mutate in a human. If this is the case for both the mother and the father, there is a 25% chance that the child will get the disease. If only one gene is mutated, the affected person does not fall ill.
The cause can be a highly sensitive nose. If you suffer from it, your nose is permanently dry and blocked. They therefore breathe more intensely through the mouth and suffer from bad breath. There is also inflammation of the throat and respiratory tract.
Those affected do not tolerate the acetylsalicylic acid found in aspirin, as well as in nature in the plants willow and meadowsweet. Even a normal dose leads to runny nose, stuffy and flowing nose. In addition, there are asthmatic complaints and hives (including hives), rashes and gastrointestinal problems. Persistent runny nose occurs when those affected do not know that ASA is the trigger and continue to take it.
In extreme cases, there is a drop in blood pressure, shortness of breath and vomiting. Doctors then speak of an anaphylactic shock.
What helps with a permanently runny nose?
Of course, you have to clarify the cause. Regardless, you can contain the symptoms. If the cause is not a nasal spray, you can use nasal sprays with decongestants - but never longer than a few days, because these agents can trigger an addiction.
If the cause is a too dry nasal mucosa, then moisten it, for example by drawing salt water through the nose several times a day. To do this, keep a nostril closed, put your head back and let the salt-enriched water flow through the open hole.
If you have an allergy, you can use anti-allergic nasal sprays, either based on azelastic or cromoglicic acid.
If the nasal septum is crooked or polyps form, surgery helps.
Home remedies for colds
Effective home remedies for permanent runny nose are:
- Inhale They are lukewarm herbal tea, for example with chamomile or sage.
- Drink You a lot. That dilutes the mucus.
- Eat spicy, Chilli or ginger. This promotes blood circulation and the mucous membranes swell.
- Make a higher one humidity in rooms. To do this, put wet towels on the heater, switch on a mist gun or get house plants that you water heavily.
- Sleep You sufficient. This will strengthen your immune system.
- Take one steam bath. A bath with thyme, marshmallow, eucalyptus oil or chamomile flowers boosts the blood circulation and loosens the mucus in the nose. The bathroom should be warm but not hot. More than 40 degrees strain the circulation.
- You can also inhale the vapors. To do this, enter the Herbal blends in a bowl of hot water, put a towel over your head and bowl and inhale and exhale the vapors deeply. You should do this for a quarter of an hour.
- Footbaths also help against permanent cold. They improve blood circulation. To do this, first let lukewarm water into the tub and gradually add hot water. After about 15 minutes, dry your feet well and relax for an hour.
- Pay special attention to hygiene. Wash your hands with hot water more often than usual and avoid contact with the eyes and nose so that you do not spread the pathogens if you are infected with viruses, fungi or bacteria.
(Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Boris A. Stuck, Uwe Popert: Rhinosinusitis, S2k guidelines, German Society for Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery eV (DGHNO-KHC) and German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine (DEGAM), Berlin, (Call 28.08.2019), AWMF
- Achim Georg Beule: Functions and functional disorders of the respiratory mucous membrane of the nose and paranasal sinuses, Laryngo-Rhino-Otologie, (accessed on August 28, 2019), Researchgate
- Thomas Lenarz, Hans-Georg Boenninghaus: ENT, Springer-Verlag, 14th edition 2012
- Marvin P. Fried: Sinusitis, MSD Manual, (accessed August 28, 2019), MSD
- Federal Chamber of Pharmacists: Information and advice in the context of self-medication using the example of a cold, Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Apothekerverbände e. V. (ABDA), (accessed 28.08.2019), ABDA
- A. Lan Schumacher, Georg J. Ledderose, Peter Hahn (ed.), Karl-Joseph Paquet (ed.): Facts ENT, KVM - Der Medizinverlag, 1st edition, 2010
- Jürgen Strutz (ed.), Wolf Mann (ed.), Practice of ENT medicine, head and neck surgery, Thieme Verlag, 3rd edition, 2017
ICD codes for this disease: J31ICD codes are internationally valid encodings for medical diagnoses. You can find yourself e.g. in doctor's letters or on disability certificates.