Wondering Why?

Why Do Noses Run In Cold Weather?

Noses run in the cold weather as a physiological reaction to the low temperature of the environment in relation to the body temperature. The nose also runs in cold water in order to moisten the air as a response to the harsh, cold and dry air of winters.

The nasal gland normally produces mucus at any given day. When the environment becomes colder, the blood vessels in the nasal glands dilate and grow larger, allowing greater flow of blood through the nose in order to protect the sensitive organ from the cold temperature. Along with the mucus, the nasal gland produces and secrets a fluid which helps wash away germs.

However, there is a reason behind the increased secretion of mucus from the nasal glands. In order to regulate body temperature and protect the lungs, the nose helps humidify, warm and moisten the air that we inhale during breathing. But air during winters is usually cold and dry, which is why the nose has to increase the secretion to step up the rate of humidifying and moistening the air inhaled during breathing. Furthermore, the nose has to work harder to secret more moisture to warm up the air before allowing it down the lungs.

Apart from the increased rate of mucus production and secretion triggered by the cold weather, the increased moisture within the nose can also contribute to the feeling of a runny nose. The condition of cold-induced runny nose is known as rhinorrhea. Usually, the condition results as a reaction to exposure to an allergen.

However, there is nothing unusual about runny nose, or even catching a cold, in cold weather. As a matter of fact, people are more likely to catch cold indoors from a virus infection from another person. You don’t need any treatment for either condition, except for simple remedies to help alleviate symptoms.


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