What is Coryza?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 19 January 2020
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Coryza is a medical term that describes a set of symptoms commonly associated with head colds, although other conditions can cause coryza as well. The hallmark of this set of symptoms is inflammation of the mucus membranes inside the nose and nasal passages. When a patient reports to a doctor with these symptoms, some diagnostic testing can be used to determine the cause and develop and effective treatment. There are some cases where coryza can be a warning sign of a very serious medical problem.

The inflammation of the mucus membranes in the nose causes the nose to turn red, tender, and swollen. Patients typically start generating large amounts of mucus, resulting in the classic runny nose that people associate with colds. The eyes may water if the inflammation spreads, and patients can develop a stuffy nose as the mucus blocks the nasal passages. People commonly lose their sense of smell and may feel lightheaded or dizzy.

Prolonged symptoms can be associated with a cough, as the mucus may drip down the throat and irritate the trachea and lungs. Patients may also develop headaches and other secondary symptoms. People with these symptoms often assume that they have a cold caused by a bacterial or viral infection and they may treat it at home with rest and fluids, two common treatments that can be very effective for many minor infections.


Coryza can also develop as part of an allergic response, as well as being associated with measles. People with rhinitis, inflammation of the nose, also commonly have these telltale symptoms. Patients can also develop sinusitis, where the sinuses become inflamed, if they experience prolonged inflammation inside the nose. This can lead to sinus headaches, a thick or clogged voice, difficulty hearing, and other secondary symptoms including extreme discomfort around the face as a result of the clogged and inflamed sinus cavities.

In many cases, resting at home with fluids and blowing the nose regularly to express the mucus will allow people to recover from the underlying cause of their discomfort. If coryza persists or grows worse, or is accompanied with symptoms like rash, difficulty breathing, high fever, altered level of consciousness, confusion, or slurred speech, a doctor should be consulted. The patient may have a more serious infection or disease that cannot be treated at home, such as a measles infection. Many clinics and hospitals have a nursing hotline people can call to determine if a family member needs to see a doctor or be taken to the hospital. With these hotlines, people who aren't sure can call, report the symptoms in detail, and discuss the situation with the nurse to receive advice.


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Post 1

Does coryza cause your nose to run constantly. seems when I am eating I am always blowing my nose and my eyes water.

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