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What causes running nose?

Answered by
Dr. Shashi Dangwal


Practicing since :1979

Answered : 1126 Questions

Posted on Mon, 25 Aug 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: Dear doctor,

My father (77 yrs old) has been vaccinated Pneumovac   & Influvac yesterday. Thanks for your valuable guidance of the doctors in, to each of whom I give my sincere thanks.

There is one small issue (stated under 'E' below & continues thereafter ) for which I seek your kind guidance :

Request you to first go through his history, profile & present medicine regime as stated ( under 'A' to 'D' below ) :

COPD is a history of the past which since last 10 yrs xrays have confirmed that it is not there. A mild borderline case due to weather may not be ruled out.
His Echo cardiogram (heart) & ECG
  shows normal. But ECG shows slight right axis, which though cardiologist negated saying it has been stated by automated machine but graph does not show right axis in the true sense at all. 
He has gallbladder  adenomyastatis which doctors have said seemed harmless / beningn & no operation needed at this stage
He has E.COLI, Puscell (urinary  track infection). Prior to detection, his blood TC was 20k above, CRP 8, High neutrophill, repeated bacterial infection attacks. Since previous 6 months till now, COMPLETELY CONTROLLED.
He has bit of hand trembling since last 25 yrs ( though not parkinson in real sense), very hypertensive, since past 1 year loosing bit of confidence in walking (without a stick).


(1)Latest blood tests done four days back. Hb Tc DC ESR CRP Lipid Profile CPK CPKMB LFT Urea Creatine Amylase Lipase Uric Acid Vit D3 D Sugar F HBA1C Electrolytes Calcium Phosphorous T3 T4 TSH.   Except TSH 6.4, slightly Low Calcium, low  borderline D3, all other parameters NORMAL.    (incl. TC 7000, ESR 4 all normal).
(2) Urine : E.Coli count less than 20k. Pus cells 6 hpf
(3) USG abdomen (8 months back) : normal (except gall bladder)
(4) Chest PA (8 months back) : clear
Echo cardiogram heart ( 8 months back) : normal
(5) ECG (4 days back) : Normal limits. But slight right axis (as printed), which though cardiologist negated saying it has been stated by automated machine but graph does not show right axis in the true sense at all. 
(6) Brain CT (8 months back) : no abnormality.

C. PRESENT MEDICINES : Pneumovac & Influvac injections administered yesterday. Present Medicines : Pantodac 20: once daily, Thyronorm 25 once daily, Surbex XT : once daily, Tab CCM once daily, Sorbiline twice daily, Septilin twice daily, Liv 52 twice daily, Carmozyme once daily, Levofloxacin (alevo) 500 : one tab only on Mon & Fri each week, Martifur MR 100 one tab alternate days (maintenance dose)

D. ALLERGY IN : Azithyromycin


I would like to add further that since the previous 3 to 4 months he has been having "running nose" especially during the time of eating. Since the previous month, the "running nose" is almost for all the time. Also, in general, he feels uncomfortable in cold, cannot tolerate airconditioner, and has low immunity level. Also, at present, when occassionally coughing, I find a watery sound of thick mucus coming from the chest region.

My family doctor, when checked him with stethoscope, could not find anything much in chest except borderline COPD but commented on congestion around throat & vocal chord region. (However, although I hear the sound coming from chest region when he is coughing). He prescribed gargle and solvin expectorant. But this is having not much effect. About running nose he commented on possibility of an allergic outcome.

Sinus Xray taken a few months back showed maxillary sinus.

He also has spondylitis & is bent from dorsal D6 to shoulder, lacks confidence in walking, walks slow with slight sideways gait & bit unsmooth way. Forgetful memory ( though not acute). Feels lethargic & tired soon (may be due to thyroid + lifestyle). Sedentary life style pattern.

Reading on the internet shows :
1. The most probable cause of running nose at age above 70 yrs is allergic rhinitis / perennial rhinitis due to thin lining of nose membrane, etc. Suggested treatment is to use nasal spray atropin.
2. Another possibility of running nose is for people using dentures (which he does) which may be pressing a nerve.


1. What could be the possible cause of running nose & the treatment ? If you suggest atropin or any other medicine (please suggest name, dosage & duration) and that whether it may be in conflict with any of his present medications as written above.
2. Please suggest effective medicine for maxillary sinus & chest congestion, dosage, duration ?
3. How to boost general body immunity & resistance power in him ?
( he generally has a very balanced diet with cereals, fruits, egg, vegetables, little fish & chicken, drinks tea about 4 to 6 times, 2.5 to 3 litres of water; etc..... in general please also suggest names of particular food / health drinks / immunity medicine/ any other thoughts ).
4. Any other suggestion, please feel free.


Best Regards,
D. Lahiri.
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
He is having allergic rhinitis.

Detailed Answer:

Hello XXXX
The nasal discharge that you have mentioned is most likely due to allergic rhinitis. He should use Montair LC and nasal spray like fluticasone or Metaspray after consulting the local doctor for dosage and correct technique. This will help him.

Since his doctor has examined his chest and not found anything, the watery sound may be coming from secretions in the throat. He is already on antibiotics. However, if his doctor feels, he may be given a 5 to 7 day course of antibiotic(preferrably a different one). This may take care of maxillary sinusitis as well. He should do deep breathing exercises.

He is taking a balanced diet. You may add a vitamin supplement and nothing more is required.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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