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Runny Noses in the Winter

Chilly air means sniffly noses. When we breathe in, our noses warm the air and add moisture to it as it travels down into our lungs. Cold, dry air irritates your nasal lining, and as a result, your nasal glands produce excess mucus to keep the lining moist. That can cause those big, heavy drops that drip from your nostrils. This condition is called vasomotor rhinitis 

This non-allergic form of rhinitis may result in a runny nose, post-nasal drip and/or nasal congestion. It is caused by a number of triggers, including temperature changes, windy weather, changes in humidity, strong odors, perfumes, and smoke. This is why you may have a runny nose in cold weather.

Wearing a scarf in cold weather can help, because the air warms before it hits your nose.

A runny nose is one of the most typical symptoms of the common cold. We are more likely to pick up a cold in the winter because we spend more time inside, and germs are able to survive longer in dry air. We’re exposed to millions of germs every day that linger on doorknobs, keyboards and phones.

Frequent handwashing, cleaning surfaces at home and work, sneezing or coughing into your elbow, and staying home when you’re sick are key to avoid picking up — and spreading — germs. 

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