Thursday, October 30, 2014

Table of Contents

Definition

Nasal discharge is any mucous-like material that comes out of the nose.


Alternative Names

Runny nose; Postnasal drip; Rhinorrhea


Considerations

Nasal discharge is common, but rarely serious. Drainage from swollen or infected sinuses may be thick or discolored.

Excess mucous may run down the back of your throat (postnasal drip) or cause a cough that is usually worse at night. A sore throat may also result from too much mucous drainage.

The mucous drainage may plug up the eustachian tube between the nose and the ear, causing an ear infection and pain. The mucous drip may also plug the sinus passages, causing sinus infection and pain.


Common Causes
  • Bacterial infections
  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Hay fever
  • Head injury
  • Nasal sprays
  • Sinusitis
  • Small objects in the nostril (especially in children)


Review Date: 08/02/2009
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)