Mommy, Why Does My Nose Run?

Little daughter was not feeling well so I brought her to her pediatrician last weekend. I was conversing with her doctor about her condition unknowing my little girl was listening. I was asking her doctor what to do about her runny nose when she suddenly quipped, “Mom, why does my nose run when it’s still here (pointing on her nose)?”

Doctor and I smiled. I explained to my daughter that runny nose refers to her condition because she’s suffering from colds.

Doc further expanded the discussion and told us that clear mucus keeps germs, dirt or bacteria (that may cause allergies or infections) from getting into our lungs. The mucus stops these harmful things in our nose but sometimes the mucus don’t stay put and that it often goes out from the nose – the nasal discharge.

At home I further researched on why do we call it runny nose? Why not dripping nose instead? Here’s pediatrician Brian Orr’s answer:

The nose serves as one of the body’s first barrier against infection. Your nose makes more mucus when a foreign substance, such as virus enters the body. That mucus combined with an increased flow of blood to the nose caused by the infection makes your nose “run” with excess liquid (that drips). And it keeps tissue companies in business.

So that’s it with the runny nose.