Runny nose in elderly when eating

Monek Marie
Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited June 2021 in General Health

As soon as my mother starts to eat her nose runs. I don't think its a food allergy. I think its a type of Rhinitis. It can bother the elderly more from what I have read.

Has anyone experienced this in their family?


  • tilathehunn
    tilathehunn Posts: 168 ✭✭✭

    There are medications...specifically cardiac that can cause rhinitis

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,358 admin

    It is very likely an aged/weakened digestive system. Taking bitters before eating stimulates saliva and gastric secretions. That enables the stomach acids to process the food more quickly. If secretions are weak, the immune system can perceive food as a potential threat and starts an immune response/allergic reaction.

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    Sounds like gustatory rhinitis. This is usually caused by eating hot/spicy food, but can be caused by any foods. Essentially it is due to a stimulation of the trigeminal nerve. Avoiding the triggering food, if known, is the best treatment.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ltwickey Its any food at all now.

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    @Monek Marie Then I would have to say it may be due to aging. The theory in most research into this topic is that the trigeminal nerve degenerates as we age and this is why elderly have higher statistics of non-allergic/gustatory rhinitis.

    Unfortunately, there is no known treatment or cure.

  • monica197
    monica197 Posts: 332 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2021

    I have noticed that when I eliminate foods with high sugar content (bananas, pasta, sweet pickles, etc) and then eat them again my nose runs. I think it is the sugar for me.

    ...yikes! I am only 50...I never considered myself elderly! LOL🤣

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,839 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My dad has had this problem for years, he can never be far from his handkerchief regardless what he is eating.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My mother just noticed a few days ago, if she takes off her glasses (they slightly pinch her nose she has less of a problem

This Week's Leaders