Why Does My Nose Run When Hiking?

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There are many different reasons why a person’s nose may run when they are hiking. It could be exercise-induced rhinitis, breathing in too much air, allergies, or dry air.

No matter the reason, a runny nose can be a frustrating experience. Here are some common causes of rhinitis. Read on to find out how you can avoid it.

Listed below are a few common causes:

Exercise-induced rhinitis causes runny nose

There are many reasons that you might be experiencing a runny nose while hiking. Cold air and exercise are two of the most common triggers. These factors can cause congestion, sneezing, and other symptoms that are often associated with rhinitis.

For those who have allergies or sensitive air passages, exercise may worsen the symptoms. This article will explain the most common causes of exercise-induced rhinitis.

The most common symptoms of exercise-induced rhinitis include a runny nose, blocked nose, itching, and sneezing. Although the exact cause of rhinitis is not known, the symptoms often go undiagnosed until a doctor diagnoses it.

In many cases, sufferers attribute their symptoms to their environment. Dusty air or allergens in a gym may cause rhinitis.

The condition is common among athletes, according to research, and some studies have found that as many as twenty-seven percent of cyclists and twenty-three percent of swimmers have exercise-induced rhinitis.

Dry air causes rhinitis

Hiking in cold weather can trigger sinus issues, but these are not necessarily due to allergies or colds. The cold air hits the nasal passages, which swells up the blood vessels, resulting in runny nose, congestion, and mucus secretion.

A compensatory mechanism also occurs, adding warmth to the air to keep the nose warm. Individuals with more sensitive skin may feel a stronger reaction to cold air.

Exercise increases exposure to allergens. People who exercise breathe deeper and faster than they do when resting, allowing more allergens to enter the body. Since the nose is our body’s air filter, it captures particulates and irritants.

Increasing exercise makes these air particles more visible and can cause more inflammation and irritation in the nose. Although they do not trigger true allergies, dry air can aggravate symptoms.

Allergens in the air irritate the inner lining of the nose

The inner lining of the nose is susceptible to irritation when certain allergens are inhaled. These particles, which come in the form of dust and pollen, are harmless to most people but can trigger symptoms of hay fever.

The immune system mistakenly perceives an allergen as an intruder and releases natural chemicals, which irritate the mucous membrane. Histamine, a chemical that irritates mucous membranes, causes swelling and itching.

Breathing in extra oxygen causes rhinitis

A new study suggests that about 27 to 74% of athletes experience rhinitis during exercise, and the causes of this condition are not yet completely understood.

Exercise-induced rhinitis is often associated with underlying allergies and is not completely predictable.

However, if you’re prone to exercise-induced rhinitis, you should keep a diary of symptoms and consider avoiding these activities in the future.

As a result, you may be more sensitive to air pollution than you are used to, irritating your nose and throat and increasing your risk for asthma.

This exposure can also be triggered by certain chemicals, which stimulate the nasal glands and can exacerbate respiratory problems.

Fortunately, the majority of rhinitis is caused by an allergy to a specific substance, which can be treated in a doctor’s office.

Saline sprays can relieve irritated nose

If you’re out on a hike and you’re constantly catching your nose, saline sprays are the answer. These products are made specifically to relieve congestion.

To make the spray, mix equal parts of boiling or lukewarm water in a clean squeeze bottle and spray it into your nose. Make sure not to aim the nozzle at your septum.

This may cause a stinging sensation. If this is the case, try switching to a preservative-free version.

If you can’t find any at your local drugstore, you can make your own saline solution by mixing a half teaspoon of non-iodized salt with a teaspoon of baking soda.

Then, add one cup of distilled water to the solution. Mix well and make sure that the concentration matches your body’s salt levels. Pre-made packets of saline solution are also available.