How to Stop Runny Nose When Cycling?

Are you tired of dealing with a runny nose while cycling? We feel your pain. Exercise-induced rhinitis (EIR) can really put a damper on our cycling experience.

But fear not, because in this article, we’ll share some effective strategies to help you stop that pesky runny nose in its tracks. From identifying triggers to exploring medical treatments and natural remedies, we’ve got you covered.

So, let’s dive in and discover how to stop runny nose when cycling and get back to enjoying your ride.

Key Takeaways

  • Exercise Induced Rhinitis (EIR) can cause symptoms such as constant snuffling, congestion, sneezing, post-nasal drip, and watery eyes.
  • Allergies or hayfever are likely the source of EIR symptoms when riding through fields in the summer.
  • Preventive measures for EIR include humidifying cold air by wearing a buff over the nose on frosty days.
  • Medical treatments for EIR include antihistamine nasal spray, steroid nasal spray, antihistamine tablets, and decongestant nasal drops.

Understanding Exercise-Induced Rhinitis (EIR)

If you experience symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and nasal congestion during exercise, you may be dealing with exercise-induced rhinitis (EIR). EIR is a condition where these symptoms occur specifically during physical activity. It can be quite frustrating, especially for cyclists who often experience a runny nose when cycling.

To stop a runny nose when cycling, there are a few strategies you can try. First, try wearing a buff or scarf over your nose to humidify the cold air. This can help prevent the irritation that leads to a runny nose. Additionally, using an antihistamine nasal spray or a steroid nasal spray can provide relief and reduce symptoms. It’s important to consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment option for you.

how to stop runny nose when cycling

Identifying the Triggers of Runny Nose While Cycling

Identifying what triggers your symptoms can help you understand why you experience discomfort while riding your bike. One common symptom that cyclists may experience is a runny nose while cycling. A constant runny nose while cycling can be bothersome and affect your overall riding experience. So, how can you stop a runny nose while cycling?

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One possible solution is wearing a buff over your nose. Wearing a buff can help prevent a runny nose while cycling by humidifying the cold air that you breathe in. This can be particularly useful when cycling in cold weather, as the dry cold atmosphere can exacerbate nasal symptoms.

However, it’s important to note that a runny nose while cycling can have various triggers. It could be due to exercise-induced rhinitis (EIR), allergies, or other environmental factors. Identifying the triggers of your runny nose while cycling can help you find the most effective solution.

Medical Treatments for EIR and Runny Nose

To alleviate the symptoms of exercise-induced rhinitis (EIR) and improve your cycling experience, you can explore various medical treatments recommended by a healthcare professional.

If you experience a runny nose while cycling, there are options available to help manage this issue. One common treatment is antihistamine nasal sprays, such as Azelastine, which can reduce nasal congestion and sneezing. Additionally, steroid nasal sprays like Beconase can be effective in treating EIR symptoms.

For those with allergies, antihistamine tablets can be tried. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable medication for your specific case.

Decongestant nasal drops, such as ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, can also provide temporary relief, but should only be used for a maximum of seven days to avoid rebound congestion.

Natural Remedies to Relieve Runny Nose During Cycling

One option to consider for relieving a runny nose while cycling is trying natural remedies. These remedies, derived from nature, can provide relief without the use of medications. Here are three natural remedies to help alleviate a runny nose during your cycling rides:

  • Steam inhalation: Inhaling steam can help soothe the nasal passages and reduce congestion. Boil water, pour it into a bowl, lean over the bowl, and cover your head with a towel to trap the steam. Breathe deeply for 5-10 minutes.
  • Saline nasal rinse: Using a saline solution can help flush out irritants and mucus from the nasal passages. Mix ¼ teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm distilled or boiled water. Use a neti pot or squeeze bottle to gently rinse your nostrils.
  • Ginger tea: Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce nasal congestion. Steep a slice of fresh ginger in hot water for 5-10 minutes, strain, and drink the tea.

These natural remedies may provide relief and help you enjoy your cycling rides without a runny nose.

Tips for Preventing and Managing Runny Nose When Cycling

If you’re looking for ways to prevent and manage a drippy nose while biking, there are several helpful tips to try.

Firstly, consider wearing a buff or scarf over your nose on frosty days to humidify the cold air you’re breathing in. This can help prevent the onset of a runny nose.

Secondly, if you have allergies, using antihistamine nasal sprays like Azelastine or over-the-counter steroid nasal sprays like Beconase can effectively treat and manage exercise-induced rhinitis (EIR). Additionally, antihistamine tablets can be tried for allergies, but it’s important to consult with a doctor first.

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Lastly, avoid using decongestant nasal drops, as they can lead to rebound congestion if used for more than seven days.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent a runny nose when cycling?

There are several steps you can take to prevent a runny nose when cycling. Firstly, make sure you are properly dressed for the weather. If it is cold outside, wearing a scarf or a mask can help protect your face from the cold air. Secondly, consider using a nasal spray or antihistamine before you ride, especially if you have allergies. Lastly, try breathing through your nose instead of your mouth, as this can help to moisten the air before it enters your lungs.

Why do I get a runny nose when cycling?

Getting a runny nose when cycling is a common issue among many cyclists. This can be caused by several factors, such as the cold air irritating the lining of your nose, allergens in the air (such as pollen), and even the physical exercise itself. It can also be a symptom of a condition called vasomotor rhinitis, where the blood vessels in your nose become dilated and produce excess mucus.

How can I differentiate between a runny nose caused by allergies and one caused by exercise?

It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between a runny nose caused by allergies and one caused by exercise. However, there are a few key differences to look out for. If your runny nose is accompanied by other symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and a scratchy throat, it is more likely to be caused by allergies. On the other hand, if your runny nose is primarily triggered when you exercise and you don’t have any other allergic symptoms, it is more likely to be exercise-induced rhinitis.

Is there any medication that can help with a runny nose when cycling?

Yes, there are over-the-counter medications that can help alleviate a runny nose when cycling. Antihistamines can be effective in reducing the symptoms of allergies, while nasal decongestant sprays can provide temporary relief by constricting the blood vessels in the nose. However, it is important to use these medications as directed and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or underlying conditions.

How can I prevent my runny nose from getting worse when cycling in polluted areas?

If you frequently cycle in areas with high pollution levels, there are a few steps you can take to prevent your runny nose from getting worse. Firstly, consider wearing a mask or using a filter that can help prevent particulate matter and allergens in the air from entering your nose. Secondly, try to avoid cycling during times when pollution levels are highest, such as during rush hour or on smoggy days. Lastly, regularly clean and wipe the inside of your nose after cycling to remove any pollutants that may have been inhaled.

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Are there any natural remedies I can use to help with a runny nose when cycling?

Yes, there are several natural remedies that may help alleviate a runny nose when cycling. Consuming foods rich in quercetin, such as apples, onions, and berries, can help reduce allergic reactions and inflammation. Nasal irrigation with a saline solution can also help clear out mucus and reduce congestion. Additionally, using eucalyptus or peppermint essential oils in a diffuser or as a steam inhalation can provide temporary relief.

Should I be concerned if my runny nose becomes chronic when cycling?

If your runny nose becomes chronic and persists for an extended period of time when cycling, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional. Chronic rhinorrhea can be a symptom of underlying conditions such as allergic rhinitis or non-allergic rhinitis, which may require medical intervention or prescription medications.

Are there any specific cycling gloves that can help prevent a runny nose?

While cycling gloves are primarily designed to protect your hands, they can also help prevent a runny nose to some extent. By wearing gloves, you can keep your hands warm and improve blood circulation, which can help reduce the severity of symptoms like a runny nose when cycling in cold weather.

Is it safe to do a “snot rocket” while cycling?

“Snot rocket” refers to the act of forcefully expelling mucus from the nose while cycling. While it is a common practice among cyclists, it is important to do it safely and considerate of others. Make sure to check your surroundings before performing a snot rocket to avoid any accidents. Additionally, be mindful of any potential allergens or irritants in the air that could exacerbate your symptoms before doing a snot rocket.

Can having asthma make a runny nose worse when cycling?

Yes, having asthma can make a runny nose worse when cycling. Exercise-induced rhinitis, which can cause a runny nose during physical activity, is more common in individuals with asthma. The same triggers that provoke asthma symptoms, such as cold air or allergens, can also worsen a runny nose. If you have asthma, it is important to manage your symptoms and consult with your healthcare provider for appropriate treatment.


In conclusion, managing a runny nose while cycling can greatly improve our riding experience. By understanding the causes of Exercise-Induced Rhinitis (EIR) and identifying triggers, we can take steps to prevent and manage symptoms.

Medical treatments, such as nasal sprays and allergy medications, can provide relief. Additionally, natural remedies like humidifying cold air and avoiding irritants can be effective.

By implementing these strategies, we can ride with ease, feeling the wind on our face instead of a runny nose. Don’t let EIR hold us back from enjoying the thrill of cycling!


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By Marco

Marco is an avid cyclist and passionate blogger. He takes great pride in sharing his insights and experiences with the cycling community, hoping to inspire others to take up the sport and enjoy its many benefits. His words are an ode to the joys of cycling, and the exhilaration it brings.

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