10 Reasons You Have a Runny Nose

Common Cold
Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.
Frequent hand-washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.
©iStockphoto.com/Evelyn Peyton

Ah, the common cold. That minor, yet annoying, ailment for which there is no cure. The common cold is by far the main cause of a runny nose. No wonder; there are more than 1 billion colds in the U.S. each year, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The most common symptoms of a cold, besides a runny nose, are nasal congestion, a scratchy throat, sneezing and, occasionally, a low fever.

The common cold is technically a viral respiratory infection, meaning antibiotics won't get rid of it. To alleviate symptoms, get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Chicken soup isn't a bad idea, either; its heat, fluid and salt may help you fight the virus. While vitamin C doesn't prevent colds, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, research shows people who consume it regularly seem to have slightly shorter colds and milder symptoms.

Protect yourself from getting a cold in the first place by washing your hands frequently and steering clear of sick people who are coughing and sneezing a lot. It's also not a bad idea to regularly clean surfaces such as doorknobs, computer keyboards and phone earpieces with antibacterial wipes.

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