Rhinitis or also known for lay man’s term as runny nose, refers to the nose’s excessive production of discharge or nasal fluids. The production of this discharge is our body’s way of getting rid of the irritant and some toxic substance through our nasal cavity by the way of nasal fluids. However, we all know that this excessive production of mucus discharge is annoying and causes a lot of inconvenience. Because of which, most of us prefer to take decongestants, but is that really the best medicine for stuffy nose?
Runny nose can result from so many factors; it could be caused by exposure to an allergic in the environment (allergic rhinitis) such as dust mites, pollen, animal dander, hay fever, etc. It could also be a symptom for common cold. Whatever caused this condition, it is sure annoying to have. What is more irritating is that, it could last for a week.
Runny nose caused by allergy usually lasts more than days, even weeks, depending on individual’s reaction to the allergen. Aside from allergens and common-cold, a person can also experience runny nose by acquiring bacterial and viral infections such as sinusitis and influenza virus. Sudden change in temperature, strong fumes and weather condition can also lead to a stuffy nose; this condition is called vasomotor rhinitis.
Best medicine for stuffy nose
Most of the time, runny nose doesn’t really need to be treated, as water therapy and rest can usually do the healing. However, there are times when you can’t afford to feel weak and sick, because you have to go to school or work. And for times when excess mucus production results to breathing problems, your best bet is to take medicines to alleviate the condition.
Nasal decongestant is the most common medicine available in the open market to relieve symptoms of runny nose. Both nasal sprays and oral decongestants are considered by many as best medicine for stuffy nose. However, nasal sprays should be taken at the bare minimum, as excessive intake of nasal decongestant sprays actually causes an increase of stiffness in the nasal area, causing the problem to get worse instead of relieving. Examples of decongestants are naphazoline, oxymetazoline, phenylephrine, xylometazoline.
For runny nose caused by allergic reaction, the best medicine for stuffy nose is in the form of antihistamine. Histamine is another term for the substance released by the body from allergic reactions, and this medication can inhibit the body’s secretion of it. Antihistamines are in the form of diphenhydramine or loratadine. Drowsiness is the usual side-effect of this drug, but there are non-drowse types available nowadays.
Steroids have anti-inflammatory properties, and nasal steroid is one of the best medicines for stuffy nose available. This is drug is used for long term relief. However, long term use of this can cause harsh side-effects like nasal crusts caused by nasal bleeding, cataracts, bone thinning and increase vulnerability from other infections.