How to Stop a Runny Nose

A runny nose can be an annoying and persistent problem, no matter the cause, be it allergies, a cold, or dry air. Knowing how to stop a runny nose effectively can make a world of difference to your day-to-day life.

In this article, we will explore various home remedies and treatments that can help alleviate a runny nose. Implementing these tips and tricks may not only provide you with relief but also improve your overall health and well-being.

Home Remedies for a Runny Nose

A runny nose, also known as rhinorrhea, is a common and bothersome symptom. It can be triggered by a variety of factors, including allergies, infections, or irritants.

In this section, we explore effective home remedies to alleviate the discomfort of a runny nose.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Drink water to stay hydrated, which helps to loosen up nasal congestion. Staying hydrated also helps fight infections or viruses that could be causing your runny nose. 

Warm liquids, like water or tea with honey and lemon, may give relief from a runny nose caused by irritation, congestion, or colds.

Eating Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can help to relieve congestion and clear mucus. Capsaicin, found in chili peppers, can assist in reducing nasal inflammation and opening up your nasal passages. 

Capsaicin has been shown to reduce congestion, inflammation, and pain, making it a promising home treatment.

Keeping Nose Moist

Keeping your nose moist is a simple yet effective strategy for managing a runny nose. When the nasal passages dry out, they can become irritated and trigger excessive mucus production, leading to a runny nose. 

It’s essential to maintain moist nasal tissues to prevent dry mucus membranes that worsen congestion. 


Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air, helping to soothe irritated nasal passages.

This can provide relief from congestion and alleviate symptoms of a runny nose.

Humidifiers release moisture into the air, which helps keep the nasal passages and throat hydrated. This added moisture can reduce irritation and discomfort, making it easier to breathe and decreasing the severity of a runny nose.

Facial Steam

Facial steam helps to open up your nasal passages, reducing congestion and any pressure in the affected areas. Inhaling steam can provide relief when dealing with a runny nose.

To benefit from this method, heat a pot of water and carefully place your face over the steam while covering your head with a towel. Be careful not to scald yourself, and be aware you do not need boiling water to make a difference to your congestion. 

Inhale the warm, moist air for about 10-15 minutes. The steam helps to open up your nasal passages, reduce mucus production, and relieve congestion.

Hot Shower

Taking a hot shower can also help to ease a runny nose. The steam from a hot shower helps to open up nasal passages, reducing congestion and improving your breathing.

The warm, moist air can soothe irritation and congestion in your nose and throat.

Neti Pot

A neti pot is a traditional tool for nasal irrigation that can provide relief from a runny nose. It resembles a small teapot and is used to flush out your nasal passages with a saline solution. 

To use a neti pot, fill it with a saline solution made of distilled water and salt. Lean over a sink and tilt your head to one side. Insert the spout of the neti pot into one nostril and pour the saline solution. 

The solution will flow through your nasal passages and come out of the other nostril, carrying away mucus and irritants. 

Make sure to use sterile or previously boiled water to avoid introducing harmful microorganisms.

Neti pots can be effective in reducing nasal congestion and promoting better breathing, particularly if your runny nose is due to allergies or irritants. 

Nasal Spray

Saline nasal spray is a gentle and effective way to relieve a runny nose. It consists of a saltwater solution that can help clear mucus and irritants from your nasal passages. 

Using saline nasal spray can provide instant relief by moistening and soothing the irritated lining of your nose. The saline solution will help break down mucus and clear your nasal passages. 

Saline nasal spray is non-medicated and safe for regular use, making it a valuable option for both adults and children dealing with a runny nose.

Warm Compress

Applying a warm compress to your sinuses can help to relieve the pain and pressure in your nasal passages. The warmth can help alleviate congestion by loosening mucus and providing relief to irritated nasal passages.

This remedy can soothe inflammation and relax your nasal muscles, providing some relief from a runny nose.

Rest and Sleep

Proper rest and sleep are crucial when dealing with a runny nose. When you’re well-rested, your body is better equipped to fight off infections and recover from illness. 

Ensuring you get adequate sleep can help your immune system function optimally, which is essential for addressing the underlying causes of a runny nose.

If you’re experiencing a runny nose due to a cold or an allergy, taking time to rest can also reduce the severity of your symptoms and promote a quicker recovery. 

When you rest, you’re giving your body the opportunity to heal and regain its strength, which can be especially beneficial when dealing with a runny nose.

Remedy for an Allergic Runny Nose

Allergies often cause runny noses by triggering mucus production in response to allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. If you notice that your runny nose is due to an allergy, you can take steps to alleviate the symptoms.

First, consider using antihistamines. 

These over-the-counter medications work by blocking the substances that cause allergic reactions. By preventing histamines from triggering an immune system response, antihistamines help to dry out nasal passages and reduce mucus production.

Another option is to use nasal sprays, which can help alleviate symptoms by reducing inflammation in your nostrils. 

These treatments are beneficial for those dealing with allergic rhinitis or sinusitis. However, avoid overusing nasal sprays, as they may lead to complications in some cases.

Finally, keep your environment clean to minimize exposure to allergens. Regularly clean surfaces and vacuum your home to remove pet dander and dust mites. Change your bedding frequently and avoid alcohol, as it can worsen congestion for some people.

Remember, if symptoms persist or worsen, consult a healthcare professional for guidance and treatment.

Preventing a Runny Nose

A runny nose, or rhinorrhea, can result from allergies, cold, flu, and other factors. Mucus and congestion can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. 

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Hydration helps thin mucus and alleviates nasal congestion. 

Protect yourself from germs by regularly washing your hands and avoiding contact with people who have colds or flu. 

Control your exposure to common allergens by keeping your home clean and dust-free. Using air purifiers and changing HVAC filters regularly can help as well.

A strong immune system can better defend against viruses causing runny noses. Remember to take care of your body by resting and giving your immune system time to recover. 

Adequate sleep and a balanced diet also go a long way to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and preventing runny noses and other ailments.

If your symptoms persist or worsen, consult a healthcare provider. They can evaluate your condition, recommend the following steps, and prescribe medications when necessary. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some home remedies to alleviate sneezing and runny nose?

Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated, as it helps with nasal congestion. Inhaling steam can also provide relief by loosening mucus. 

Apply a warm compress to your face to soothe discomfort, and use saline nasal sprays to clear the nasal passages.

How can I treat a running nose that’s like water?

If your nose persistently drips clear mucus, it may be due to a viral infection or another health condition. 

Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Meanwhile, stay hydrated and use a humidifier to keep the air moist.

Which nasal sprays are effective for a runny nose?

Saline nasal sprays can help soothe and clear your nasal passages. For severe symptoms, prescription nasal sprays, such as corticosteroids or antihistamines, may be recommended. 

Always follow your doctor’s advice and instructions when using nasal sprays.

What medications can help with a runny nose and sneezing?

Antihistamines and decongestants are commonly used to treat runny noses and sneezing caused by allergies or colds. 

They come in various forms, like tablets, capsules, and nasal sprays. It’s always best to consult a doctor before starting any medication.