What causes nose burning, what can be done about it, and how to prevent it

Many different conditions, including the common cold, respiratory infections, allergic and nonallergic rhinitis, and sinusitis, can cause a burning sensation in the nose. And your eyes, throat, and sinuses might be burning, itchy, and irritated.

Causes, treatments, and related symptoms of nasal burning are discussed here. Aside from that, we research natural remedies for inflammation.

A nose and mouth. Share on PinterestPin It Photography by Justin Lambert / Getty Images

Inflammation or irritation caused by an infection or allergic reaction can cause a burning sensation in the nose.

Itchy, runny nose caused by allergies

For nasal inflammation, see "rhinitis." Allergic rhinitis occurs when a person's immune system inappropriately attacks a nonthreatening substance, like dust or pollen, causing inflammation.

10-30% of the global population suffers from allergic rhinitis.

Hay fever, or seasonal allergic rhinitis, is the medical term for an allergic reaction to pollen or another seasonal allergen.

Some of the signs of hay fever include:

  • irritation or discomfort in the nasal, oral, pharyngeal, and ocular regions
  • blocked nasal passages
  • headaches
  • tears and nosebleeds
  • sneezing
  • Throat clearing is a common symptom of postnasal drip.

Avoiding the allergen is the quickest way to alleviate symptoms of allergic rhinitis. A person who is allergic to pollen, for instance, might avoid going outside on days when the pollen count is high.

Antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids sold over-the-counter (OTC) may also be helpful.

Allergy immunotherapy is another option; it involves gradually increasing the dose of the allergen a person is exposed to so that the immune system learns to ignore it. This may require the patient to take a pill daily or to get injections frequently.

Common cold-like symptoms that aren't caused by allergies

Rarely are allergic reactions the root cause of a person's rhinitis symptoms.

The medical term for this is nonallergic rhinitis. The majority of those affected are adults, and it manifests itself in a wide range of ways throughout the year.

  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • sinusitis postnasale
  • nose burn

Nonallergic rhinitis typically does not result in itchy eyes, nose, or throat, in contrast to allergic rhinitis.

Nonallergic rhinitis sufferers may be hypersensitive to environmental factors such as smog, specific odors or chemicals, or even seasonal shifts. Nasal inflammation can be caused by a number of factors, including medications and health conditions like viral infections.

Nonallergic rhinitis symptoms may be reduced by avoiding known triggers. There is currently no known treatment, but some people have found relief from saline nasal sprays and medicated sprays/rinses.

Here, you will study the process of creating a salt water solution.


Inflammation of the sinuses, also known as sinusitis. Sinuses are the empty cavities found behind the cheeks and forehead. The inflammation of the sinuses, known as sinusitis, can be caused by either bacteria or viruses.

Sinusitis symptoms include:

  • a cold that causes a runny or stuffy nose
  • facial and forehead pain
  • headaches
  • Throat pain
  • drips of mucus down the back of the throat
  • cough
  • fever

Viral infections are the most common cause of sinusitis, and they typically clear up without any treatment at all. Antibiotics can be given if the doctor determines that bacteria are to blame.

Influenza and related viruses

The average American adult suffers from two to three colds per year, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This could manifest in a variety of ways, including:

  • irritation of the throat
  • discomfort due to a runny or stuffy nose, which can lead to a burning sensation.
  • cough
  • headaches
  • body aches
  • Inability to smell or taste
  • fever

Cold symptoms typically subside on their own, though they can be alleviated with medication or home treatment. The stuffiness of a nose, for instance, can be relieved with the aid of decongestants.

Find out what treatments work best for your individual cold symptoms.


The influenza virus is another frequent cause of respiratory distress. Symptoms of the flu can range from relatively mild to severely debilitating and include:

  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • body aches
  • cough
  • throat pain
  • fever
  • a cold can cause a runny or stuffy nose, and even a burning sensation.

Diarrhea and vomiting can also occur. Flu symptoms can appear out of nowhere.

Most people are able to get well without any treatment at all. However, the following groups are at a higher risk and may need additional monitoring and safety measures:

  • people over the age of 65
  • women who are expecting
  • infants and toddlers
  • Those who are suffering from ongoing health issues

Find out more about the signs of flu and how you can treat and avoid it.

Various other respiratory infections

The respiratory system as a whole is vulnerable to infection, so it's important to take care of any signs of trouble immediately. SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses can occasionally cause severe acute respiratory syndrome.

The virus that leads to COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 symptoms may include the following.

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • tiredness
  • Symptoms such as aches and pains
  • the inability to smell or taste
  • the pain in one's throat
  • nasal congestion or discharge, which can be itchy and painful.
  • vomiting or nausea
  • diarrhea

If you think you might have COVID-19, here's what the CDC says to do:

  • isolate yourself from other people as much as possible.
  • get a test
  • Keep an eye out for signs
  • To schedule an appointment with a doctor, please call ahead.
  • Put on a mask that fits you properly.
  • When sneezing, cover your mouth and nose, discard tissues, and wash your hands thoroughly.
  • It's important to maintain a regular hand-washing routine.
  • towel and bed linen sharing should be avoided at all costs.
  • Maintain a regular schedule of cleaning and disinfecting
  • Ventilate the house by cracking open some windows.

Does this sound like the beginning of a stroke?

Stroke symptoms do not include a burning sensation in the nose. Stroke symptoms consist of the following:

  • the onset of sudden facial, limb, or body numbness, typically on one side of the body
  • a condition affecting one or both eyes that makes it difficult to see
  • Impediment in ambulating
  • loss of equilibrium or co-ordination
  • acute pain in the head
  • Having difficulty communicating or comprehending others

Do not hesitate to contact emergency services if you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs.

An infection or allergic reaction cannot be treated with home remedies. But they can lessen the severity of the symptoms and provide relief from the associated pain.

An individual with a viral illness, like a cold or the flu, can:

  • To alleviate stuffiness, take steam inhalations from a hot shower or a bowl of very hot water.
  • Replace fluids lost through vomiting or diarrhea by drinking lots of fluids.
  • Spend some time sleeping.

It is possible to use saline nasal sprays or rinses to alleviate persistent irritation or inflammation in the nasal passages.

To further aid breathing and lessen discomfort, using a humidifier can increase the moisture content of the air.

Discover the best natural remedies for your next cold or flu.

A doctor should be consulted by anyone who experiences severe or unexpected symptoms.

A doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics if he or she determines that a burning sensation in the nose is due to a bacterial infection. Before deciding that you have allergic rhinitis, a doctor may choose to conduct allergy testing.

A person who suspects they have COVID-19 should call ahead to find out if it is safe to visit the clinic, office, or hospital. A physician will provide recommendations for treatment if they suspect their patient has COVID-19.

Inflammation or irritation caused by an infection or an allergic reaction can cause a burning sensation in the nose.

When the infection heals or the reaction subsides, the sensation may be mild and quickly disappear. While waiting for medical attention, you can get some relief from the burning sensation and other symptoms with over-the-counter drugs, home remedies, and nasal sprays.

Try reading it in Spanish if you can.

Medically reviewed most recently on July 28, 2022

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