Prevalence of allergies of different forms is high, in the US and globally, affecting approximately one third of the population. Among the various allergies, one form impacts routines and the social life of individuals in a different way. Individuals with the condition experience a running nose in addition to symptoms when consuming certain types of food. This is typically triggered when individuals consume foods that are either spicy or hot. We will now look at the condition closely to help you understand the reasons behind the condition and available treatment options to answer your question – why does my nose run when I eat?

Various reasons for running nose when consuming food

Running nose when consuming food is attributed to one of various reasons. This includes gustatory rhinitis, allergic rhinitis, food allergies or idiopathic rhinitis. The severity and possible implications depends on the reason for the condition. For instance, certain conditions may not be serious and may resolve automatically once the food consumption is stopped. However, in other instances, the allergies may be life threatening in nature. This may require a proper diagnosis, treatment regimen and lifestyle changes to prevent the allergies from affecting the individual. Here is a look at some of the reasons that cause the condition.

Why does my nose run when I eat and what is gustatory rhinitis?

Gustatory rhinitis refers to the condition wherein individuals experience running nose when consuming certain types of food. Hot or spicy food products are known to trigger the trigeminal sensory nerve which causes the condition. This cranial nerve is regarded as the most complex of all cranial nerves and is responsible for motor functions and sensations in the face. To answer your question – why does my nose run when I eat? – the trigeminal nerve is activated in individuals with gustatory rhinitis, which triggers two reactions – cholinergic reflexes and glandular secretion. As a result of these two reactions, you experience running nose when you consume certain food products – typically hot and spicy. This is not a food allergy, but a condition where the nerve is triggered due to pain-temperature, setting off the symptoms.

Symptoms associated with gustatory rhinitis and treatment options available

In addition to running nose, there are other symptoms associated with the condition. This includes abnormal sneezing, congestion and phlegm. The discharge is typically clear and the individual’s throat goes sore during the period. The tests that are specifically used to determine allergies include allergen specific immunoglobulin E antibody test (IgE). The best method to prevent the condition is to avoid consuming the category of food products that trigger the reflex action. Additionally, the administration of topical intranasal anticholinergic drugs helps to inhibit the discharge from the nose. The effect of this topical intranasal drug will have limited effect on sneezing and congestion, but is effective in preventing watery secretions from the nose.

Why does my nose run when I eat and what food products should I avoid?

This is a common question among individuals who suffer from running nose when consuming food. A significant percentage of individuals suffer from various food allergies, and this includes congestion and symptoms that could be either temporary in nature or persistent. Most of the food allergies tend to resolve in a period of a few hours after the consumption of the food. However, in a large number of cases, the condition persists for long, and can turn in a serious condition. However, food allergy is not known to cause a running nose, but individuals are most likely to experience symptoms such as nasal congestion, constriction in the throat, hives, itching, swelling in the body and dizziness. To answer your specific question about food allergies in the context of – why does my nose run when I eat? – the answer is pretty simple. Food allergies can be the reasons for the above symptoms, but is highly unlikely to be the cause for running nose. Food allergies are typically attributed to shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, dairy, soy and wheat.

Idiopathic rhinitis and running nose

Another reason that is attributed to running nose is idiopathic that is commonly known as vasomotor rhinitis. The question – why does my nose run when I eat? – can also be answered by checking if the individual has vasomotor rhinitis. This is triggered by exposure to conditions that result in the swelling of the nasal lining. For instance, individuals are known to experience this condition when exposed to smoke, certain fragrances, temperature, lights, and certain types of food/beverages.

Allergic rhinitis and running nose when eating

Another reason for running nose when consuming food is allergic rhinitis which is known to affect around 15% of the US population. This allergy, that is mostly seasonal in nature, with a small percentage of individuals experiencing it all the time, is attributed to the environment. For instance, the presence of mites, pollen and the microscopic flecks of skin from animal and birds raised as pets. Individuals are known to be allergic to these substances and end up with allergic symptoms. Commonly reported symptoms of allergic rhinitis include running nose, abnormal sneezing, dryness in the eyes, itching in the throat, skin and mouth apart from eyes that well up with excessive moisture.

Common treatment options for all conditions that cause running nose

Now that the question – why does my nose run when I eat? – has been answered, let us look at the available treatment options. Regardless of the reasons for the condition, certain treatment options are commonly used for managing the condition. This includes the use of decongestant medication that is meant for alleviating blocked nasal passages. Antihistamines are another popular and easily available OTC medication for treating allergies. A long list of antihistamine tablets, drops, topical applications and nasal sprays are available as OTC medication to treat allergies. The next level of treatment in certain conditions includes allergy immunotherapy, which helps the individual to completely be relieved from the condition. This involves either allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy), allergy tablets/drops (sublingual immunotherapy). The attempt is to alter the immune system and prevent development of allergies/asthma.

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