Possible cause and action A common cold or some other viral infection is probably making your nose run.

action Take self-help measures to relieve the symptoms (see Treating a cold, below). If your symptoms do not clear up within 2 weeks, consult your doctor.

self-help Treating a cold

There is no cure for a common cold, but many of the symptoms can be relieved with the following self-help measures:

• Drink plenty of fluids.

• Try taking an over-the-counter painkiller such as paracetamol, aspirin, or ibuprofen.

• Fill a bowl one-third full with hot water and breathe in the steam for a few minutes to help clear congestion.

• Over-the-counter cold and flu remedies may help. However, if you plan to take painkillers as well, make sure that the cold remedy does not already contain painkillers, in order to avoid an overdose.

Possible cause and action Sinusitis, inflammation of the membranes lining the air spaces in the bones of the face, may be the cause. Taking painkillers will help to relieve symptoms. You could also try steam inhalation: fill a bowl one-third full with hot water, and breathe in the steam for several minutes. If you are no better in 48 hours, consult your doctor, who may prescribe antibiotics.

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