In medical terms, a runny nose is called rhinitis. This is the most common cause of illness in autumn and winter. If the disease is mild, no one will run to the doctor, but treatment should still be started on time. aif.ru talked about how to do it right expert “People’s Front. Analytics”, Candidate of Medical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Pediatrics at Sechenov University, pediatrician, pulmonologist, allergist-immunologist Pavel Berezhansky.
What is a runny nose like?
There are several types of rhinitis: acute, chronic, vasomotor and allergic. The most common is acute rhinitis. If a runny nose is left untreated for a long time or treated incorrectly, it can become chronic or lead to complications, for example, sinusitis (inflammation of the paranasal sinuses). However, a runny nose itself greatly affects the quality of life: with a stuffy nose it is difficult to get a good night’s sleep, the quality of communication decreases, and even eating can be difficult.
Is it possible to speed up recovery?
As they say: “If you treat a runny nose, it will go away within seven days, and if you don’t treat it, then in a week.” In fact, this is true. There are no remedies that can quickly “cure” a runny nose. However, proper treatment will help make your life significantly easier during this period and will not allow another infection, including a bacterial one, to be layered on top of rhinitis.
Will traditional methods help?
The development of medicine has stepped far forward, and traditional methods are becoming a thing of the past. For those who believe that traditional medicine is based on the healing properties of plants and their ingredients, I will give a counterargument: every season a large number of patients are admitted to the hospital with complications and allergic reactions after using traditional methods. As a doctor, I do not recommend trying them, especially on children.
Although there is one wonderful and safe natural remedy – water. There are no contraindications for it. Drinking plenty of fluids can effectively thin out mucus, which is produced in large quantities during a cold. Drink hot tea with the addition of natural decongestants (substances that help relieve swelling of the mucous membranes): mint, menthol or chamomile. But only if you are not allergic to these products.
How to treat?
If acute rhinitis begins, then most likely the cause is viruses. Before using medications, there are three steps you can take to reduce your viral load.
Firstly, we create the right atmosphere – adequate humidity in the apartment (at least 55%) and temperature (no more than 22-23 degrees), and don’t forget about drinking plenty of fluids.
Secondly, we rinse the nose with saline solutions that are selected according to age. We remember that for a child we can only use sprays in the “shower” and “soft” modes. This group of drugs cleanses the nasal mucosa of accumulated inflammatory secretions and microorganisms. They can also be used hygienically every day as a means of preventing ARVI. A hypertonic solution of sea water has an absorbent effect, drawing fluid from cells and vessels, thereby relieving swelling of the nasal mucosa.
Thirdly, blow your nose correctly. After this, you can move on to medications.
What medications should I use?
There are different medications for rhinitis. These can be vasoconstrictor drugs with the active ingredient phenylephrine, oxymetazoline, xylometazoline, etc. They can be herbal or combination drugs. Topical preparations with antibacterial agents are also used, but they should not be used without examination and advice from a doctor.
Be careful with vasoconstrictors. They should be used no more than three to five days in a row, as they are addictive. Vasoconstrictor drops are used if the nose is stuffy. Remember: first you need to use vasoconstrictors, and after five minutes, rinse your nose. Not the other way around.
For allergic rhinitis, local antiallergic agents and other drugs are added to the therapy, but in this case, be sure to consult a doctor.
What else is important?
We remember that when you have a runny nose, your feet should always be warm.
Don’t forget about prevention: hardening, walking in the fresh air, sanitizing (cleaning) foci of infection. Use personal protective equipment, ventilate the premises more often.