Why Does My Nose Run When I Eat? Causes and Treatments
Published May 29, 2023
Having a runny nose while eating is common. It usually happens when you’re eating spicy foods. Though it can also occur due to various other factors.
Though it’s not something serious, it can still be pretty annoying – especially if you’re eating with other people. So the faster you figure out what’s causing your runny nose, the faster you can get rid of it.
To help you out, we’re listing down the possible reasons why your nose runs during a meal and how you can put a stop to it.
Why Your Nose Runs When Eating
As mentioned, there are lots of possible reasons why your nose suddenly drips when you’re having a meal. This includes:
1. Eating hot foods
Hot foods are the most common culprit of running noses. When you eat something hot, the capsaicin binds to your pain receptors. So your body thinks that it’s under attack or that you’re trying to burn your insides out.
As a response, it turns on the waterworks to try and wash out the offending stuff. You sweat, your eyes shed tears, and your nose suddenly feels like a faucet. This is why when you drink water, your nose seems to get back to normal.
2. Food allergies
If you have food allergies, it’s probably the reason why your nose is leaking right now. A runny nose is a common allergy symptom. It’s your body’s way of trying to get rid of a pathogen that it does not recognize.
So if you’re eating food that you’ve never had before or a had a known allergy to, it’s probably the culprit for your runny nose.
Some of the most common food allergy triggers are:
- certain kinds of seafood
3. Seasonal allergies
Pollen, smog, weather changes, temperature changes, and things that come with the change in seasons can also cause your nose to just suddenly leak. In the US, seasonal allergies are usually very common during spring and last well into the summer.
4. Environmental factors
Sometimes, it’s not the food or the season that’s making your nose run. Sometimes, it’s the environment. Certain environmental factors can trigger allergic responses in certain people. This includes:
- bright lights
- certain odors
5. Hormonal changes
Yes, your changing hormone levels can cause chronic allergies, especially in women. According to studies, estrogen, the female hormone plays a significant role in allergic reactions. So far, more studies are needed to figure out how it works.
What Are Other Symptoms You Need to Watch Out For?
From the list above, you’ve probably realized that a runny nose is often part of a chain of allergic reactions. But each trigger causes a different kind of allergic reaction.
To figure out how to stop your nose from leaking, you need to figure out what’s causing it. To do that, you need to look at the other symptoms that come with it.
If your leaking nose is due to a food allergy, it usually comes with other symptoms like:
- swelling of the face, tongue, and mouth
- itchy and teary eyes
- an itchy feeling inside the mouth, throat, and ears
In severe cases, you may also experience anaphylaxis symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, and even losing consciousness.
Allergic rhinitis is caused by seasonal allergens like pollens. Aside from a runny nose, allergic rhinitis symptoms also include:
- itchy nose
- blocked nose
Since the causes of allergic rhinitis are seasonal, most people only experience the symptoms a few months a year. Though, depending on the cause of their allergy, some people may also experience these symptoms all year round.
This type of rhinitis happens when you eat spicy foods. So it comes with other symptoms like:
- teary eyes
- a burning sensation in the mouth
- stuffy nose
- postnasal drip
As the name suggests, vasomotor rhinitis is caused by constriction or dilation of the blood vessels. It’s often associated with menopause and comes with the following symptoms:
- facial pressure
- post-nasal drip
- throat clearing
- reduced sense of smell
How to Stop Your Nose From Running When You Eat
The best treatment for a runny nose depends on what’s causing it. If it’s caused by allergens, avoiding triggers or strengthening your immune system are the best recourse. But if that doesn’t work, here are some natural treatments you can try:
Antihistamines are go-to medications for allergic reactions. If you have known food allergies or any kind of allergy triggers, you should bring one wherever you go. They typically work within a few minutes. Though some types of antihistamines may cause side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, and blurred vision.
If your nose feels stuffy and runny at the same time, taking decongestants usually does the trick. It decongests your air passages by reducing the swelling of the blood vessels in your nose.
Decongestants only provide temporary relief. You should get rid of the underlying medical condition if you’re looking for permanent results.
Immunotherapy helps boost your immune system which improves your allergic responses. This, in turn, reduces the severity of your allergic symptoms.
4. Nasal spray
Nasal sprays are liquid medications you spray in your nose. It helps relieve stuffy nose and other symptoms of allergic rhinitis. They help relieve inflammation in your nasal passages which clears up your airways, allowing you to breathe easier.
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This Content Has Been Reviewed For Factual Accuracy
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a professional writer based in the Philippines. Her commitment to communicating factual content in when writing is unmatched. She works hard to cross check reputable sources to ensure her work uses accurate facts.