With review and feedback from CEENTA ENT doctor Roy Lewis, MD (Mooresville)

While you love a good meal, you’re always a little embarrassed to eat with other people. That’s because, for some reason, your nose runs every time you eat. What is happening, and is there any way to stop it?

What is allergic rhinitis?

Before you can treat your runny nose, you need to root out the cause. First, your nose might be running because of an allergy. This is called allergic rhinitis. You could be allergic to something in the environment, like pollen or dust, or even the food you are eating. If your nose doesn’t always run while you eat, chances are you have allergic rhinitis. With environmental allergies, allergic rhinitis is also usually accompanied by other allergy symptoms, like dry or watery eyes and sneezing. Food allergies also see symptoms like hives, shortness of breath, and trouble swallowing.

How do I treat allergic rhinitis?

To treat allergic rhinitis, you need to treat the allergy. Most folks will try over the counter antihistamines, such as Allegra, Claritin, and Zyrtec, and topical nasal steroid sprays like Nasacort, Flonase, and Sensimist as a first step. If that doesn’t work, then you need to learn what you’re allergic to. An allergy test can help determine the cause, after which a doctor can develop a treatment plan best suited for your needs. This can range from avoidance to over-the-counter medicines to immunotherapy.

What is gustatory rhinitis?

If your nose runs but you don’t have any other allergy symptoms, you may have a condition called gustatory rhinitis. Sometimes, a certain type of food, like spicy food, can trigger a nerve that causes the nose to run.

How do I treat gustatory rhinitis?

If a certain type of food is the cause, your best bet is to avoid it. However, if your nose runs when eating any type of food, medicine may be a solution.

What if your nose runs all of the time, but it’s worse when you eat?

Roy Lewis, MD

This is probably something called vasomotor rhinitis. Your doctor can prescribe a nose spray that can usually help, CEENTA ENT doctor Roy Lewis, MD, said.

“If this spray doesn’t work, there is a relatively new procedure called Clarifix cryoablation of the lateral nasal nerve that can help most patients. This procedure can be performed in the office.”

Meals should be a worry-free experience. We hope this information helps you sniff out the cause of your runny nose.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. If you would like an appointment with Dr. Lewis, call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart. In-office and virtual visit appointments are available.


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September 12, 2020

I’m hoping you can help me understand My problem and if it will ever go away. I have had a gastric Bypas and have now a gastric sleeve. since starting to eat regular food. I have some unexpected side effects from the surgery. I have,a I think is a reflux from the stomach which isn’t terribly disturbing and foods don’t seem to taste as they did previously before the surgery. The problem I am having that bother me the most is when my stomach seems to be full my nose starts to run very quickly but will slow down between meals. I swear I go through half a tissue box a day. I have tried Basel sprays with no success. Can you explain the connection between the bypass and the nasal passage? Yours respectfully, Carol Armstrong.
- Carol Armstrong

September 16, 2020

Good afternoon. The surgery can damage the vagus nerve, which can lead to the excess drainage. Ultimately, Clarifix or cryoablation of the posterior nasal nerve can improve the runny nose, whether is it from surgery or from vasomotor rhinitis. Thank you.
Reply From: CEENTA

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