Why Does My Nose Run When I Eat
Published August 16, 2021
Nasal congestion can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, infections, and irritants.
Rhinitis is the medical word for a runny or stuffy nose. It is a broad term that encompasses a variety of symptoms, including:
- nasal itch
- phlegm in the throat
The medical word for nose running caused by eating is gustatory rhinitis. Certain foods, particularly those that are hot and spicy, are well-known triggers. So are you wondering, “why does my nose run when I eat?” In this article, we will talk about the symptoms, causes, possible treatments, preventions, and other complications.
Other symptoms that may accompany a runny nose after eating include the following:
- itchy nose
- congestion or stuffiness
- clear discharge
- sore throat
- phlegm in the throat, also known as postnasal drip
Different types of rhinitis have a variety of causes.
When an individual has both allergic and nonallergic rhinitis, it is referred to as mixed rhinitis. It is fairly uncommon for someone to have persistent nasal symptoms throughout the year, with symptoms intensifying around allergy season.
Similarly, you may suffer from chronic nasal congestion, but your symptoms will worsen in the presence of cats, including itching and watery eyes.
Gustatory rhinitis is a kind of nonallergic rhinitis characterized by a postnasal drip following food consumption. Generally, spicy meals elicit gustatory rhinitis.
Earlier research, including one published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology last 1989, has demonstrated that spicy meals induce mucus formation in persons with gustatory rhinitis.
Gustatory rhinitis is more prevalent among the elderly. It frequently coexists with senile rhinitis, another nonallergic rhinitis type. Both gustatory and senile rhinitis is characterized by an excessive amount of watery nasal discharge.
Spicy foods that may cause a stuffy nose include:
- chili powder
- hot peppers
- hot sauce
- other natural spices
Symptoms of gustatory rhinitis:
- Stuffy nose
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
The most common type of rhinitis is allergic rhinitis. Numerous people suffer from this symptom as a result of allergens in the air, such as:
These allergies are often seasonal. While symptoms may fluctuate, they are often worse at various periods of the year.
Additionally, your stuffy nose could be the result of a food allergy. Food allergies can manifest themselves in various ways, but they often include more than nasal congestion. Frequently occurring symptoms include the following:
Here are the common food allergies and intolerances:
Nonallergic rhinitis (NAR)
Nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) is the most common cause of a stuffy nose when eating. This is not caused by an immune system response but rather by an irritant.
NAR is not as well understood as allergic rhinitis, and as a result, it is frequently misdiagnosed.
It is an exclusion diagnosis, which means that if your doctor is unable to identify another cause of your runny nose, they may diagnose you with NAR. Nonallergenic triggers include the following:
- certain foods
- irritating smells
- cigarette smoke
- weather changes
There are various types of nonallergic rhinitis, the majority of which mimic seasonal allergies but with less irritation.
Vasomotor rhinitis (VMR)
The term “vasomotor” refers to any activity that involves the constriction or dilation of blood vessels. Vasomotor rhinitis (VMR) is a condition that manifests as congestion. Additional symptoms include the following:
- facial pressure
- postnasal drip
These symptoms may be persistent or intermittent. VMR can be triggered by everyday irritants that are tolerated by the majority of individuals, such as:
- the smell of paint
- perfumes and other strong odors
- cold weather
- pressure changes in the air
- bright lights
- emotional stress
- menstruation-related hormonal changes
Vasomotor rhinitis may be caused by previous nasal trauma (injured or broken nose) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The best way to treat this symptom is determined by the cause. By avoiding triggers and utilizing over-the-counter (OTC) medications, the majority of symptoms can be alleviated.
For mixed rhinitis
Mixed rhinitis can be treated with anti-inflammatory and anti-congested medicines, including the following:
- Oral Decongestants – Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) or Phenylephrine (Sudafed PE)
- Nasal Decongestants – Oxymetazoline Hydrochloride (Afrin)
- Corticosteroid Nasal Sprays – Fluticasone (Flonase), Mometasone (Nasonex), or Budesonide (Rhinocort)
- Capsaicin Nasal Spray
- Topical Anticholinergic Agents – Atropine (Atropen)
- Anticholinergic Nasal Sprays – Ipratropium (Atrovent)
For allergic rhinitis
Numerous over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medications and remedies are available to treat allergic rhinitis, including the following:
- Antihistamines – Cetirizine (Zyrtec), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Loratadine (Claritin), and Fexofenadine (Allegra)
For a food allergy
Food allergies can be perplexing and often manifest themselves later in life. Even if your allergic symptoms have been moderate in the past, they can deteriorate into something more serious, even life-threatening.
If you have a food allergy, avoid the triggering food completely.
Prevention You Should Try
Did you know that the symptoms of nonallergic rhinitis can be avoided by making a few lifestyle adjustments? Here are a few things you can try:
- Staying away from personal triggers
- If you smoke, you should consider quitting and avoiding secondhand smoke at once
- Avoiding occupational triggers (like construction buildings and painting) or working with a mask
- Using fragrance-free soaps, moisturizers, laundry detergents, and hair products
- Avoiding spicy meals
Although complications from congestion are rarely dangerous, they can be quite annoying. The following are some of the possible complications that may occur due to chronic congestion:
- Nasal polyps – These are somehow harmless growths in your nose or sinus lining.
- Sinusitis – Sinusitis is an inflammation or infection of the membrane lining the sinuses.
- Middle ear infections – Middle ear infections due to increased congestion and fluid.
- Reduced quality of life – You may experience trouble working, exercising, socializing, or sleeping.
If you’re suffering from this symptom and need instant relief, your best bet is to use a decongestant. Now that you have the answer to your question, “why does my nose run when I eat?” Consult your physician regarding possible medical advice diagnosis or treatment.
However, if you require long-term treatment, it may take several weeks of trial and error to discover an allergy medication that is effective for you. Additionally, it may take time to isolate the specific irritant causing your symptoms, mainly if it is a common food flavoring.