Ask Difference

Rhinorrhagia vs. Rhinorrhea — What's the Difference?

By Fiza Rafique & Urooj Arif — Updated on April 9, 2024
Rhinorrhagia involves bleeding from the nose, primarily due to injury or blood vessel issues, whereas rhinorrhea refers to a runny nose, often caused by allergies or infections.
Rhinorrhagia vs. Rhinorrhea — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Rhinorrhagia and Rhinorrhea


Key Differences

Rhinorrhagia, commonly known as a nosebleed, occurs when the blood vessels in the nasal lining burst, often due to physical trauma or environmental factors like dry air. On the other hand, rhinorrhea involves the excessive production of mucus by the nasal mucosa, typically as a response to irritants, allergens, or infections.
While rhinorrhagia primarily involves bleeding, indicating a disruption of blood vessels within the nose, rhinorrhea is characterized by a clear or colored mucus discharge, signaling an immune response or irritation. This distinction is crucial in medical diagnosis and treatment.
Rhinorrhagia can be alarming and may require medical intervention if persistent or severe, pointing towards underlying health issues like hypertension. Conversely, rhinorrhea, though often less severe, can be a symptom of common colds, allergies, or sinus infections, requiring different management strategies.
Management of rhinorrhagia often involves first aid measures like pinching the nose and leaning forward, while rhinorrhea treatment targets the underlying cause, such as antihistamines for allergies or decongestants for colds.
In terms of prevention, avoiding nasal trauma and maintaining humidified environments can reduce the risk of rhinorrhagia. For rhinorrhea, avoiding allergens and practicing good hygiene can help prevent infections that lead to a runny nose.

Comparison Chart


Bleeding from the nose, often due to injury or blood vessel issues
Excessive nasal mucus production, usually from allergies or infections

Primary Cause

Trauma, hypertension, dry air
Allergies, colds, sinus infections


Blood discharge from the nose
Clear or colored mucus discharge

Common Treatment

Pinching the nose, leaning forward, humidification
Antihistamines, decongestants, avoiding allergens

Prevention Strategies

Avoid nasal trauma, use humidifiers
Avoid allergens, practice good hygiene

Compare with Definitions


Nasal hemorrhage.
High blood pressure can lead to rhinorrhagia.


A runny nose.
Pollen can trigger rhinorrhea during spring.


Blood discharge from the nose.
Rhinorrhagia can be alarming but is often not serious.


Excessive mucus production by nasal tissues.
Cold weather often brings about rhinorrhea.


Nosebleed due to ruptured blood vessels.
After falling, he experienced rhinorrhagia.


Symptom of upper respiratory infection.
Rhinorrhea and coughing are early signs of a cold.


Epistaxis, a medical term for nosebleeds.
Doctors use the term epistaxis when referring to rhinorrhagia.


Nasal discharge indicative of cold or allergy.
Rhinorrhea is a common symptom of the flu.


Bleeding from the nasal cavity.
Dry air often causes rhinorrhagia in winter.


Secretion of nasal fluids.
He took antihistamines to manage his rhinorrhea.


A profuse nosebleed.


Rhinorrhea or rhinorrhoea is the free discharge of a thin nasal mucus fluid. The condition, commonly known as a runny nose, occurs relatively frequently.


Discharge from the nasal mucous membrane, especially when excessive, as with an allergy or infection.


(medicine) A persistent discharge of watery mucus from the nose; typical of the common cold.


Persistent watery mucus discharge from the nose (as in the common cold)

Common Curiosities

Can allergies cause rhinorrhagia?

While allergies primarily cause rhinorrhea, severe nasal irritation might occasionally lead to bleeding.

How can you stop rhinorrhagia?

To stop rhinorrhagia, pinch the soft part of your nose and lean forward for several minutes.

What causes rhinorrhea?

Rhinorrhea is usually caused by allergies, infections like the common cold, or irritants.

Can rhinorrhagia be serious?

Persistent or severe rhinorrhagia can indicate underlying health issues and might require medical attention.

Are there any home remedies for rhinorrhea?

Home remedies for rhinorrhea include staying hydrated, using saline nasal sprays, and inhaling steam.

What is rhinorrhagia?

Rhinorrhagia is the medical term for bleeding from the nose, often caused by injury or dryness.

Is rhinorrhea a sign of a cold?

Yes, rhinorrhea is a common symptom of a cold, along with sneezing and coughing.

Does rhinorrhea mean infection?

While rhinorrhea can be caused by infections, it can also result from allergies or irritants.

What should I do if I have rhinorrhea for more than a week?

Persistent rhinorrhea may require medical evaluation to determine and treat the underlying cause.

How can I prevent rhinorrhagia?

Preventing nasal trauma and keeping the nasal passages moist can help reduce the risk of rhinorrhagia.

Can rhinorrhagia lead to complications?

In rare cases, excessive or uncontrolled rhinorrhagia can lead to complications like anemia.

Can children have rhinorrhagia?

Yes, children can experience rhinorrhagia, often due to nasal injuries or dry air.

How is rhinorrhea diagnosed?

Rhinorrhea is diagnosed based on symptoms, and sometimes allergy tests or imaging studies are used.

Can changing seasons affect rhinorrhea?

Yes, changing seasons can bring about rhinorrhea, especially due to temperature changes and allergens.

Is rhinorrhea contagious?

Rhinorrhea caused by infections like the cold or flu can be contagious.

Share Your Discovery

Share via Social Media
Embed This Content
Embed Code
Share Directly via Messenger
Previous Comparison
Baggage vs. Bag
Next Comparison
Scoup vs. Scoop

Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

Popular Comparisons

Trending Comparisons

New Comparisons

Trending Terms