Runny Nose While Exercising?
Here’s one from the grab bag: why does your nose run while you’re exercising?
Answer: we don’t know. So-called exercise-induced rhinitis can look and feel like its more chronic cousin, allergic rhinitis (also known as seasonal allergies), but in this case the flow stops when you do. Scientists have posited all sorts of possibilities to explain the phenomenon, but none have yet panned out. The only strong correlation seems to be where you exercise: your nose is more likely to run along with you when you’re outside. From the Today Show:
Between 10 percent and 20 percent of Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis, but, strangely, 40 percent of endurance athletes suffer from the condition. And while it’s well-known that exercise can trigger asthma, hives and anaphylaxis (a life-threatening, whole-body allergic reaction — that’s right: in rare cases, exercise can and does kill), it’s not well-understood what triggers the annoying allergy-like symptoms. But the latest theory medical research is narrowing in on is, perhaps unsurprisingly, pollution. In particular, nitrogen dioxide — found in car exhaust — has been the subject of a handful of recent studies involving allergies and athletes.
So if you are experiencing distress that goes above and beyond the desired exertion, it may be time to find a nice quiet place in the woods for your daily run. Or failing that, a treadmill.