an sneezing into a handkerchief, suffering with a cold, flu, or allergies

Q. My husband gets a runny nose each and every time he sits down to eat, and we are stymied as to why. He has consulted two doctors, but nothing they prescribed has helped.

We cannot sit down for a decent dinner anywhere, whether at home, friends’ homes or restaurants. We are both frustrated over this attack. It causes him much grief and interferes with him eating enough.

I hope you can give us a reasonable answer or suggest a cure.

A. Doctors call this condition “gustatory rhinitis.” It means runny nose triggered by eating.

Some physicians prescribe a nasal spray containing ipratropium (Atrovent). Others prefer to use antihistamines.

Irish doctors have experimented with botulinum toxin (Botox) injections, but the FDA has not approved this treatment for runny nose (Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Sept. 2008). Keeping a food diary may help identify particular foods that make this reaction worse.

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  1. PN
    Perth. Ausralia

    Kindly send Homeopathic remedies along with other thereuptics (medicines)..

  2. Donna

    My nose starts running 2mins into eating. I can be eating Mexican foods, Italian foods or a plain ol’ peanut butter ‘n jelly sandwich it doesn’t matter WHAT I eat. I think it has something to do with age also. All this didn’t start until about 2years ago. I am 57yrs old. I have always had seasonal alergies but the runny nose hapens everyday no matter WHAT I eat! Reading about a lot of people having this same problem, I’ve found out that basically, it seems like, doctors don’t have a clue as to WHY.
    *keep tissues handy my friends !!

  3. pauk

    Started after I had chemo and radiation.

  4. Rachel

    I have a similar problem, but the difference is my nose gets completely stuffed. I have to blow my nose and clear the mucus in my throat during the meal as well as after eating. I have been like this my entire life and it’s always SUPER embarassing. I have pretty bad allergies so I have always assumed it has to do with that somehow. It’s interesting there are folks out there who can kinda relate!

    • Shoban
      Cambridge, MA

      I have the same problem. I don’t remember when it started but certainly around the time when I became a senior citizen. I am 76 now and the problem is getting worse. I cannot enjoy any meal. Spicy food makes the problem worse, but even bland food makes me blow my nose frequently. Even soon after drinking a glass of water I have to blow my nose! I don’t think it is allergy. I have no known allergies — pollen, dust, food, drugs – nothing! I strongly believe this problem is related to aging. When I go to a restaurant, I hear all elderly people (especially male) blowing their noses all around me but not the younger people. Anybody knows any home remedy for this?

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