1. Flo - ovulation calendar, period tracker, and pregnancy app
  2. Your cycle
  3. Puberty
  4. Teenage life

Why Does Your Nose Run When You Cry?

The human body is an amazingly complicated work of art. There’s a lot going on inside our bodies that we’re often not even aware of. Here we hope to explain one of the puzzling features of our body mechanics: why does your nose run when you cry?

A crying girl with a runny nose and her two friends

Emotions can cause our bodies to react in different ways, and crying is a very common one. People cry when they are upset, happy, in pain, or even when laughing. For women, crying can also occur as a result of hormonal changes. 

These hormonal changes can occur during your period, throughout pregnancy, or as a result of menopause. Hormonal fluctuations can cause changes in mood, motivation, weight gain, anxiety, depression, and irritability. These same hormonal changes can cause women to cry without knowing why.

If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS). If your PMS feels worse than usual or you feel like your emotions are out of control, consider speaking to a medical professional about an evaluation and possible treatment

What is a runny nose?

The medical community uses two different terms to talk about drippy noses: rhinorrhea and rhinitis. Rhinorrhea is a runny nose, and rhinitis is inflammation of the tissue inside the nose or nasal passages. This inflammation can be caused by a number of things and can give you a runny nose. You might experience congestion with either of these conditions.

How are tears connected to a runny nose?

Your body continuously makes tears that wash across the outside of the eye — about 1.2 ml every day. The tears protect your eye by keeping it lubricated and washing away any particles of dust or dirt. Any remaining fluid enters two small openings (puncta) in the inside corners of your eyelids (near your nose). This fluid then drains through the tear ducts and into the back of your nose and throat.

Track your health with Flo

Install our app to track birth control, predict periods and ovulation. Control over 30 different symptoms and activities every day — and stay healthy!

When you cry, a part of your brain triggers a chemical reaction in your body, causing the lacrimal gland in your eye to produce extra tears. If you only produce a few tears, they will drain into the puncta, maybe making you sniffle a bit. If you’re bawling your eyes out, tears might run down your face, make your face and eyes red, and cause your nose to run.

Other reasons for a runny nose 

A woman having a runny nose

There are several other reasons why you might have a runny nose, often associated with an irritated nose or nasal passages. The most common reasons include:

  • common cold
  • influenza
  • seasonal allergies
  • allergic reaction to perfume, pets, dust, smoke, etc.
  • onions 
  • cold temperatures
  • hot food or liquids
  • spicy or highly seasoned foods

As you can see, there are many reasons for a runny nose — anything from exposure to an irritant to a rush of emotions. Any of these can make your nose run, with or without tears.






Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker

4.8, 279.7K
  • Amazing! Ricecake2003
    This app is super useful for tracking periods, and has given me mostly accurate predictions so far! I especially love that you can comment anonymously on posts and get help from and give help to the community.
  • Such an intuitive app! Hannah Malone
    I've tried several period tracker apps on the market and nothing is as good as Flo. It's accurate, detailed providing you with an abundance of parameters to log, and they even provide useful articles and surveys to help you better understand the complex nature of the female body.

Read this next

Track your cycle with Flo App

You will receive a one-time SMS. We will not store or use your phone number in any other way.