Catarrh is the intermittent discharge of runny or viscous fluid, or mucus, from the nose. This may alternate with a stuffy, blocked-up feeling. Catarrh may be a symptom of an infection, such as a cold or influenza (see page 224), or sinusitis (see below). Alternatively, catarrh may be part of an allergic reaction to a number of things, including pollen or dust (see Hay fever, page 224), cigarette smoke, chemical pollution, gas or oil fires, central heating or air-conditioning systems, certain drugs, or cold and damp. These may cause irritation of the mucous membranes, which stimulates mucus production in an attempt to lubricate the membranes and remove the irritation. A cough (see page 228) may develop if catarrh drips down the back of the throat.

SELF-HELP Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid eating dairy products, bread, and potatoes—which may increase mucus production—for a couple of weeks and make a note of any changes to symptoms. Take combination Q tissue salts (see page 216).

Thick, white catarrh

Catarrh resembling the white of a raw egg

Catarrh with constantly runny nose

Catarrh with extreme sensitivity to strong smells

Thick, white catarrh in the second stage of a cold after the initial inflammation of mucous membranes has subsided Catarrh flows down the nose or the back of the throat

Watery catarrh may be so profuse that it is necessary to hold a handkerchief below the nose Loss of smell and taste

Nose runs constantly with need to blow it all the time

Catarrh is yellow or green, watery, burning, thick, and stringy

Crusts and cracks inside the nostrils that make blowing the nose painful Nose may bleed

Heightened sense of smell may make even the scent of flowers unbearable

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