– why do we get a runny nose when we have an infection? Surely blocking the entrances is too late by then…?

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– why do we get a runny nose when we have an infection? Surely blocking the entrances is too late by then…?

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Mucous production is a defense mechanism. But most post-nasal drip occurs from oedema (also spelled edema, which means swelling) as fluid fills tissues damaged by viral production. Viruses hijack our own tissue’s cells to reproduce. Eventually the cell bursts and dies, spreading freshly produced viruses and releasing fluid that the cell encapsulated.

Once the body detects the infection, hormones are released which also increases swelling. This fluid diffuses out of tissues into your nasal sinuses. As the fluid dries, whatever constituents don’t evaporate instead congeal into thick mucous and boogers.