Rhinitis in the Colonoscopy Patient

Laying in the recovery area I sneezed, hard, five times. My right nostril burned. I pulled the oxygen off and asked my husband what the O2 measurement showed on the monitor above my head. “94% – it just dropped 3%”. I took deep breaths and the number popped back up. As my nurse walked into the room, I requested removing the oxygen measuring device from my finger. She said “Let me get one more set of vitals”. I sneezed a few more times, my nose running and burning.

Coming home that afternoon after my colonoscopy I continued to sneeze, the burning sensation in my right nostril got worse and the runny nose persisted. It was time to do what any competent physician (or e-patient would do) – I googled it. Apparently this is a common problem after colonoscopy these days.[1] It turns out that with the addition of using propofol for colonoscopies, anesthesiologists insist that a high flow rate of oxygen be used during the procedure to reduce hypoxia (a low oxygen level) and the use of capnography, or measurement of carbon dioxide retention. In order to do this, as best that I can ascertain, they pump oxygen in one nostril and measure CO2 in the other. That’s a lot of hi-flow oxygen going into one nostril through a nasal Screenshot 2015-04-08 20.02.44cannula. There are studies related to the irritation this causes in patients as well as a reduction in patient satisfaction. It’s day three after my colonoscopy and I am still sneezing, my nose still burns and I still have a fair amount of rhinitis. Yeah, I’d say that’s a dissatisfier.

Just a heads-up to my patients about to undergo your routine endoscopy. The misery may not end once your bowels are back to normal. Take plenty of kleenex.

1. Li N-L, Tseng S-C, Hsu C-C, et al. A simple, innovative way to reduce rhinitis symptoms after sedation during endoscopy. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. 2011;25(2):68-72. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3043006/

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231 thoughts on “Rhinitis in the Colonoscopy Patient

  1. Very interesting. These were my exact same symptoms yesterday after colonoscopy under propofol sedation. All day long I was dripping and sneezing to the point of taking diphenhydramine to make it stop. And yes, only one nostril (right) stung, burned, and tickled–triggering continued dripping and sneezing. This morning I searched “rhinitis after colonoscopy” and Google auto-filled the search string before I could even finish typing it! Then I knew this was a common problem. My original concern was some type of community-acquired bacterial sinusitis. The hospital had been undergoing some remodeling yesterday and they had the AC turned to a higher temperature than is customary in that setting. So the procedure area and recovery rooms were pretty warm. Worried me that I might have caught a bug! Thank you for posting this thorough review of your own experience.

    • I am experiencing the same with my left nostril following a colonoscopy. I started to sneeze++ in the recovery room and my left nostril is running. My left eye (Day 2) has started to run as well but I am not sneezing as much today. It’s like I’ve got a bad cold and it feels like something is sore in my left nostril.

        • I’m so glad someone wrote back to say when exactly their sore and runny nosed ended. It’s been so hard to find out the duration of this silent and untalked about side effect that comes from rubber tubing/oxygen/propofil. Thank you! I hope mine goes away in four days too. I had anesthesia, oxygen too for uterine surgery to remove polyps, and immediately noticed my right nostril was sore. It’s been running ever since. Has been two full days now.

          • I’m writing again to report that my nose dripped and sneezing continued for me for eight days. Today is the first day that I can say it’s going away and nearly gone. An anesthesiologist will tell u they’ve never heard of this, but clearly it’s, “a real thing!”

          • Yes, I had the colonoscopy yesterday morning and I sneezed dice or six times in a row when we got about a mile away from the center. I thought I contracted a cold but the discharge from my nose is like water. As well as my right eye. I am miserable. I have had two colonoscopies with no polyps so I do not plan on anymore. I eat very healthy and I am 62. I hope is is not permanent.

        • Same thing happened to me today after a colonoscopy. I started sneezing and had a runny nose immediately after surgery. I appreciate the information from everyone as I had no idea what caused it. Will definitely mention it to my doctor.

        • Its 2 weeks since my colonoscopy , and my burning , itching, sneezing and certainly the hairs have not come back in my nostril. The terrible has not gone away so don’t believe this had to be done to me. At the very least I should have given specific notice and then my consent in advance.

          • I had a colonoscopy in Dec 2017. Healthy as a horse going in. Sick as a dog coming out. I had a laryngospasm during the procedure and they had to abort. I mentioned that they was a very bad smell went they put the oxygen on me. I now have a hoarse voice and a barking cough. See more doctors than I could imagine and still no real answers. The cough comes and goes but when I have it my eyes water and I sneeze so hard. Had another colonoscopy in Aug and would not let them put me under.

        • Had same experience. Tried to contact anaesthetist for advice but I haven’t received a reply as yet. Resorted to smearing inside of both nostrils with Vaseline and it seems to help. So grateful I found this site at least I can make some sense of this inconvenience.

          • I have never had a reaction before today. I have had 4 colonoscopies but never with the oxygen and co2 . It started as soon as I was in recovery. Hopefully it ends soon!

          • I had a colonoscopy today and woke up with my left nostril agitated . As the day went bye my sinus and eye on my left side was running like niagra falls . Called the doctor and spoke to his nurse and she told me she had never heard of these symptoms before. They literally have a million patients and I’m the first to go thru this ??? She suggested that I see my primary doctor. Anyone have any idea how to make this go away ??

      • I just hand hand surgery for a cyst removal and woke up feeling great but then the sneezing started and by the time my husband got me to the car my eyes and nose were dripping and running like a faucet. This is day three for me and don’t feel much better. I haven’t had a cold in about seven years. All has to do with that blasted pronged oxygen tube they put in your nose I suppose and it has to do with the knock out drug and hose regardless of what type of surgery. Thank you for these posts as they don’t make me feel all alone in this.

        • I had the exact same thing happen to me after my colonoscopy. I had it this past Thursday and my nose still burns and I’m sneering. Does anyone have a treatment that will help this?I’m getting tired of this.

          • I had colonoscopy 8/28/18 and after waking up I started sneezing with severe runny nose. It is the next day and it is still bad. I’ve been taking Flonase and it has NOT helped. Gina E.

          • Did you get a reply from your experience. I had the same thing happen after my colonoscopy yesterday. Horrible cold like symptoms. What did you do that helped. The pharmacist at Walmart said Flonase and Claritin. Neither have worked.

          • A few days after my procedure, the Dr.’s office called to find out how I was doing. I explained to them about the sneezing and runny nose, but they kind of pushed it aside and said that only one other patient ever complained about it with the symptoms that I described. (BS) After reading all of the other people having the same issue here on this forum, I know better that I was the only person to ever experience it in their office. It was 3 days of misery. The Tylenol Severe Sinus capsules really helped, but only for a few hours, which any relief was a good thing.

        • Just had my stomach scoped today, I am so misreble, sneezing runny nose and a headache. Firest thought has developed an allergy to propofol, it burned going in, but now I know it’s everything combined. Thank you all, hope it goes away soon I am misreble

      • Oh my goodness! I just had procedure this morning.. have been sneezing my head off, left nostril irritated, and teary left eye. Started to google correlation between propafol and upper resp. issues, voila!

        • I had my colonoscopy this morning. Woke up from sedation with runny left nostril, irritated sinus (pressure on left), teary left eye, and sneezing. I’ve had several colonoscopies before but never with this complication. This doesn’t seem like a cold since it came on so suddenly (right after procedure) and I have no other cold symptoms.

      • I have the same symptoms today after colonoscopy. My eyes and nostril is running constantly and sneezing repetitively. I have Surely this is something that should be explained I have been very concerned about the utility now ha in read these comments am reassured. Thank you

        • Hi All, had my 6 th colonoscopy yesterday and the same thing has happened to me. Never before has this happened. The nurse called today to ask how I was feeling and I told her my left nostril hurt and it felt like a feather was stuck up there. It’s running uncontrollably. She told me it’s common and to take antihistamines. It’s just weird!

        • I had my colonoscopy yesterday and haven’t been able to stop sneezing since right after I left the building, except for sleep. Benadryl useless, as well as Afrin nasal spray. WTH! I am miserable!

    • Yes exactly the same … Due to excessive sneezing I have also just looked it up on Google to find out what on earth is going on …. Same procedure of a colonoscopy with a cannular for sedation and a tube in my nose for oxygen … At least I know now!

      • Me too. Had a colonoscopy yesterday and my left nostril and eye cconstsntly drip. The hospital nurse called me to ask how I was doing and I told her about my condition and she said she didn’t know if people had a reaction to the oxygen and she asked a colleague who said it did happen. I am miserable and can’t stop the runny nose and eye

    • I had a colonoscopy under proprofol yesterday and immediately upon waking up in the recovery room I was sneezing. I asked the nurse why I was sneezing so much? She said it is probably the air conditioning. Today – the 2nd day after I am still sneezing, my left eye watering like crazy and my left nostril running. I googled the symptoms after colonoscopy and found this is a common thing after colonoscopy after mod to deep sedation. I also called my Dr’s office and was told it is from the oxygen and tubing.

      • I had a colonoscopy yesterday and have been having these same nasal symptoms! I’m so glad to have found this site! I have just found one thing that may help to relieve symptoms: put some cotton or tissue in the effected nostril to mostly block the passageway. It seems like it might reduce the irritation and therefore relieve the dripping and sneezing. I just started doing this so time will tell if it might be a good temporary solution.

    • I just had a colonoscopy this morning and have been sneezing ever since. Thought I was crazy! Glad I googled it and found that others have experienced this as well. I will definitely let the doctor know when his office does their follow up call tomorrow.

      • I need relief! Thanks for this article. I just had a colonoscoy and my right nostril is burning and running. I thought I was having some kind of alergy attack. But than I remembeted I take Claritin everyday and did so after the procedure so I should not have a problem. Than I googled and here it is. Is there a way to get relief? They need to tell the nurses to grease our nostrils before the 02 is put on. I think that might help. Ineed relief.

        • I had my procedure Monday at 8am……it is Thursday morning and my nose is still running like a faucet, sneezing, coughing (post nasal drip) I feel like I have a bad cold. I stayed home from work yesterday because I work with seniors and I feel bad going to work and coughing all day. I have read this lasts about 4 days, hoping today it will stop……and I thought the PREP for colonoscopy was bad……this is ridiculous!

          • I am with you there.. this is a double whammy. I was so glad to get this colonoscopy over with. Don’t know what to do about this. Only second day. Can’t stay home all next week from work. It is Saturday.

          • It took me about a week for my nose to calm down and yes, it did feel like I woke up with a cold. I completely lost my voice for a couple of days. There must be a better way.

    • This happened to me today. Left nostril. Soooo irritated, nose running, sneezing. This is a game changer for me. I’ve had colonoscopies before without this problem occurring. Not happy.

      • Had colonoscopy yesterday and this has never happened before to me. Glad I goggled as thought I had gotten a cold. Can’t get anthing done from sneezing and catching the drips. Lol

      • Had a colonoscopy and endoscopy this morning and my left nostril is irritated and running like crazy. I will DEFINITELY report this issue with the nurses/physicians when they do the routine post-op call tomorrow. I had this exact procedure without the O2 five years ago and had NO side effects. This is obviously under reported.

    • Sing is all that helped me so sing, sing sing ..not sure why.. but tonight I put on Pandora and started to sing and I stopped sneezing.. colonoscopy and endoscopy friday..

    • Thank you for you response, as I have had the exact same symptoms. My nose has been not just running, but literally dripping since I got home a few hours ago. And yes, one nostril is burny and itchy. So, no huge deal. Beats the hell out of what I went through last night… 🙂 But, I wish someone had told me! How long does this last??

    • Day 2 after colonoscopy and I have been miserable with sneezing and nose running like a sieve. Took allergy tabs and not any better. My head feels like I have a sinus infection, I have been sneezing like I have allergies (which I don’t) and my left nostril in particular is literally dripping like a leaky faucet. Out of frustration I googled “runny nose after colonoscopy” and found this to be very common! WHY do they not prepare you for this side effect??? I appreciate the posts confirming my experience!!!

    • I have the same symptoms as everyone else (sneezing, CONSTANT DRIPPING right nostril 🤧and 😢right eye). I also started sneezing as soon as I came to. This is my third colonoscopy and I didn’t experience this with my first two. When I get my follow up call tomorrow, I am going to ask what was done differently from the last 2 times time. Hopefully I will have an answer to share.
      P.S. Thank you to whoever suggested sticking a tissue in your nose. It gives some relief, “short lived” but I will take anything at this point.

      • Had mine today cannot stop with the tissues. A little disappointed no one told me this in the surgery center when I started sneezing right after the procedure, not even dressed yet

        Thanks all for the heads up at least it’s not a cold


    • I am so glad I found this forum. Had a colonoscopy this morning w/propofal and oxygen (like everyone mentions below). I was sneezing uncontrollably and continue to do so the evening after morning procedure. I mean uncontrollable, like I can’t drive or do anything because it’s embarrassing. I am very happy to hear this is common and that it will go away. Nasal spray such as xyclear seems to help.

    • Thank you for your input. I thought I was the only one with this problem after my colonoscopy yesterday. As usual, there were no warnings from the doctor or nurses. Without people like you who are willing to share their experiences, we would be in the dark

    • It’s the evening after my colonoscopy and I’m miserable. To go from diarrhea to rhinorrhea, I’ll take the diarrhea! The constant sneezing and runny nose sucks! I can’t work or function normally. And I’m not usually a complainer. Now that I know what caused this, I won’t let them do my oxygen that way again. What really irritates me is when I woke up from anesthesia sneezing, I asked 2 nurses and my doctor what was wrong with me and they all said they had no idea. Liars.

    • I just had my procedure today and immediately after coming home the same symptoms started. It feels just like hay fever or seasonal allergies. My right eye is runny and watery as well.

    • The pharmacist had never heard of this, but suggested a steroid nose spray-Flonase. It help instantaneously. I am not 100%, but at least I am able to function. That was an awful experience that does not have to happen. They are administering way to much oxygen!

    • OM GOODNESS. So I had my colonoscopy today, my left nostril before I went to sleep was itchy. I woke up sneezing, burning in my left nostril. I hD my precedure at 10am its 7pm and it is worse. Left nostril burning, sneezing nose dripping like a tap. I feel goid from the colonoscopy. annot decide which is worse Prep or this. I had the colon doctor call me back to see if ok to take Claritan n he said yes. I asked him about this and he said , ” Dosnt usually happen” Liar Liar it obviously does. Hope it goes away soon!

    • A face-mask can be used instead of the nasal tubes. Anesthesiologist like the nasal tubes best as the way to administer oxygen during surgery because if there is a need to get the patient breathing again the nasal tube is faster by average 30 seconds to remove to ventilate the patient. Research shows using a face-mask is just as effective for the patient as the nasal tubes … so its all doe for the ease of the Doctor, not for best treatment of the patient.

    • this must not just be an incident after a colonoscopy….I had laparoscopic surgery for tube removal today and since I came to I have been sneezing and runny itchy nose allllll day!!!!! I asked the recovery nurse if this was common after being put under and she said she never heard that before…it wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t hurt so much to sneeze 😔 🤧

      • OMG, as an ovarian cancer survivor with numerous health issues. I’ve had a zillion surgical procedures and never had any complications after Anesthesia. I had a simple procedure for injections for pain on my hip… I am so miserable from a runny burning know anesthesia. I had a simple procedure for injections for pain on my hip… I am so miserable from a runny burning nose. I kept pulling the oxygen off before the procedure and saying it’s too much. My procedure was very short but this stinks! Uncalled for😡 please make it stop. Thank you so much for writing this article so I would know that there is a name, reason and hopefully an end to this miserable situation .

    • Thank you so much for this information. I had a colonoscopy just yesterday. The same thing is happening to me. Yesterday after the surgery I was sneezing non -stop and my left nostril has been draining. Today is a little bit better. I feel as if something is in the back of my nostril but I can’t get it out. I have used saline wash to dry up things but nothing has been working. I was going to ask the nurse today when they call me to check on how I’m doing. I decided to see if there were others that felt they same thing and was happy to see that it was not just me. Thanks for the break down of what exactly was going on. I can’t wait for this to pass and I will still report this to the nurse when she calls.

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been sneezing and a constant runny nose after my colonoscopy. Glad to know there is a reason. I am only one day after their colonoscopy, I hope this ends soon.

      • I had to have a set of three shots in my lower back and they give you the choice of being awake or knocked out. Me being the chicken I am, I opted for the knockout. Shortly after leaving surgical center I started sneezing and horrible runny nose. Laster about two days. The second shot was a week later and nothing happened. The third shot it happened again. Told my doctor about it and he sort of brushed it off. This past Fri. I started another set of shots for my upper back. That evening it started again. I think this time was worse. It is now Sun. and I am stilling have the running nose. Like all of you, just one side. I get another shot in two weeks. I did read that allergy pills really don’t help, but suggested trying a saline spray. At 3:00 this morning I put saline in a small cup and stuck about 10 q-tips in. Would take one and coat the inside of my nose. I have to admit it did help. Am going to pick up a spray when I go to town. Can’t wait for my next shot. (NOT)

    • I just bought my husband, who had an endoscopy/coloniscopy , Tylenol Sinus Severe and it has helped him tremendously! He is no longr sneezing and he feels much better.

    • I’m so glad u ran across these comments because I am. going through the same thingafter a colonoscopy today..it’s awful..makes me wonder if these are American made materials..or imported from who knows where..

    • Wow! I know most of you had colonoscopys and got this problem… I just got my wisdom teeth removed and now have this exact same problem starting immediately after.. guess what I have in common with most of you.. they used a NC and propofol.. 🙄 I hope it goes away!

    • I felt the oxygen blowing hard on the cartilage in my nose. Tried to adjust it a few times, even asked if it was supposed to burn. Anesthesiologist turned the levels down for the tme being, until I was about to go under, then turned it back up to full strength. When I woke up, same. Sneezing, burning on the right side. Neosporin with pain releif is taking the edge off, but it’s the next day and symptoms are still there.

  2. Today was my third colonoscopy. Shortly after I awoke with a “stuffy” nose, I began sneezing with a “hay fever” like reaction. After I got home it has continued unabated and is very annoying. I wondered if it was possible to wake up with a “cold” but it made more sense to me that it was an allergic reaction. So I googled it. Wow. I do not have many allergies except dust, and some pet dander so I rarely get these symptoms without a cold. And of course none of this was in the short procedure unit. This article makes the most sense, given I did not go through any of this in my last procedures. I feel pretty certain it was from the nasal O2. I appreciate this information.

    • It’s the O2 but it is due to the anesthesia department using a CO2 monitor in one nostril and high flow oxygen in the other. This needs to change but won’t until patients start complaining.

      • Thanks for your input. Same thing here after a colonoscopy today. I am a RN and I figured it was the O2 and long nasal prongs but seeing your post confirmed it. They really do need to rethink this. Going in for a colonoscopy and coming out with full blown rhinitis was not part of the plan LOL.

    • i have the same with my colonoscopy two days ago! woke up with an allergy type stiffy left nostril and overnite goes to the right…very aggravating!! i thought a cold was coming on…i believe niw after reading all these accounts that its the anesthesia/ oxygen! ugh!

    • I just had a colon resection and my right nostril
      Is very sore. This is day 6 and looks like I have a fever blister under my nose. I am wondering what to do about this. Has anyone experienced this? Should I call hospital, family doctor or just wait it out?

  3. I expperenced the same , I mention my sore nose a number of times to the nurses and commented that I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I felt shocked It had come on so sudenly , do the nurses/ doctors know the procedure can cause this ?? I would have greatly appreciated a warning . I will defenatly need extra time off work if I get it done again

  4. Same thing! I had it done today and I really want it to stop. Just when you think it is over, this misery starts!

  5. This happened to me as well. It’s been three days and my left nostril is still irritated and drippy, and I keep sneezing. Why do the doctors do this to us????

  6. Just went through the colonoscopy today and experiencing the same problem. Is there anything I can take over the counter to make it stop.?

  7. I just had a colonoscopy and have been blowing my nose since I woke up. I was not sick at all before the procedure and do not have any allergies. I recently (within the month) had shoulder manipulation under general anesthesia and did not have this same reaction. I also googled it and found I was not alone. I would love to know if I could avoid this the next time. I also work as a nurse in a same day unit and take care of patients who are having EGD’s and colonoscopies. I have never heard this complaint but will be more aware of it if anyone comes out with a runny nose.

  8. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to read your post. Had my first colonoscopy this morning so I had no point of reference to compare my symptoms to. I too thought it was a strong allergic reaction or coincidentally a cold was starting. My right nostril is like a faucet. I will be addressing this with my gastro doctor at my follow up visit.

  9. Day 7 after endoscopy sneezing has stopped but still feel the itch and burning in right nostril, eye is running and now have sinus pain. No fun….

  10. I just had a colonoscopy/endoscopy yesterday. I, too, have been sneezing like crazy. My right nostril is itching and dripping. I had never had this happen before with these procedures and had never heard it was a possibility. I just knew I didn’t have a cold. What actually causes this ? Is it a side effect of the sedation or from the nasal cannula ?

    • No–it’s a change in how anesthesiologist is monitoring patients. In the last couple of years more anesthisiologists are using a high flow oxygen in one nostril and a co2 monitor in the other. The consequence is discomfort in the high flow nostril and I suspect the placement of the cannula has something to do with it. Patients need to start complaining or it is not going to change.

      • Thanks. There are probably many people that have this happen and just assume they are getting a cold or allergic rhinitis. I was just glad to find out I wasn’t completely crazy.

      • I’m on day 5 and I feel horrible. I can’t even inhale thru my right nostril from the burning. I’ve tried benadryl and saline and Flonase. Nothing helps. Any idea how much longer this could go on? This is really so much worse than a cold!

      • Thank you for this explanation. Had colonoscopy this morning at 7 a.m, As I was being rolled into recovery, the runny nose started. By the time I was released and got home, my right eye started watering, with continued runny nose. After reading everyone’s posts, went to pharmacy to pick up nasal spray & antihistamine. I have tissue stuffed in nostril now. Sounds like this discomfort has to run its course. Glad I’m not crazy. Thanks for everyone’s posts.

        • This is a follow-up. I contacted my doctors office to let them know about the runny nose and watery eye. Finally received a call back the next day. And like some of the commenters above, Dr’s Office was “surprised” of my post-procedure symptoms. I reported that if they just google the topic, there are hundreds of people who have experienced similar symptoms post-procedure. I did confirm that I was given oxygen through nasal tube during the procedure. My symptoms subsided a bit on Day 3, but still a little runny nose. No more watery eyes. Good luck future colonoscopy patients.

  11. Are nurses prohibited from stating this after-effect? It seems the nurse spoke to me about everything but this. Right after the procedure (yesterday), the nurse came in and gave me a tissue box right away. But I was not informed about this until just now reading all the blogs.

    • No, I think it’s just a new problem and its from anesthesia not the procedure. Please complain to the hospital. Until people start complaining this will not change.

  12. I had rotator cuff surgery in April and started sneezing as soon as I woke up. The inside of my nose was very sore. It is now September and while my nose is better, it is not all better. Some days I don’t notice it and other days it’s uncomfortable. I am going to see an ENT Dr because I have another surgery coming up next month. Something different needs to be done.

  13. I also developed a fever which made be nervous along with the runny nose and sneezing. The fever is gone but cold symptoms are still hanging on. Did anyone else develop a low grade fever?

  14. Same thing here; I am in misery. The weird thing is that I can sleep perfectly fine, but as soon as I wake up the itching, sneezing and dripping begins. Does anything help this? Benadryl, Allegra, etc.?

    • oh me too! When I first woke up this morning I thought I was better (2 days following my procedure) but once I got out of bed, realized I was not. Its annoying!

  15. Kathy, based on your advice, I called the surgical center where my colonoscopy was performed, the doctor who did the procedure, and the anesthesiologist: No one wants to hear about this. I have been repeatedly told that I just have a cold or allergies. I know my body well enough to know what a cold feels like, and I don’t suffer from allergies. I keep telling them that I woke up from the procedure sneezing and with a runny nose and that those symptoms have continued for five days now. It has all fallen on deaf ears. The entire problem with the medical community in a nutshell – talking AT patients instead of WITH them. So frustrated…and sneezy.

    • I’m at a little bit of a loss as to how to bring this out. I think anesthesiologists just think this is “no big deal” and don’t want to admit to it being a problem. Also, I suspect it has some what to do with how the flow is positioned because not every one complains. But this has certainly hit a nerve in the patient population. It needs to be studied and fixed.

      • Well, I am feeling much better, but it was five days of misery. If they had let me know that this could be an issue or possible side effect, it would have been fine. It’s the lack of information that is infuriating. If it weren’t for this site, I would have thought I was going crazy. Thank you.

    • I am on day two now after having a colonoscopy with the oxygen in my nose mediately after waking up I started sneezing and sneezing and sneezing and sneezing my nose will not quit dripping this is ridiculous nobody told me about this I’ve tried Benadryl I’ve tried Allegra nothing is helping me this is Very disabling can someone tell me what to take to get some relief? The colonoscopy wasn’t bad it’s afterwords not been able to breathe or talk or walk and missing work terrible.
      I know I had a colonoscopy yesterday and I can’t quit sneezing and my nose won’t quit running I am so frustrated I don’t know what to do I’m going to have to call in work I’m so irritable and upset nobody told me about this side effect I would just rather have the old colonoscopy like they did before I had no side effects with it

  16. I am a physician and had never experience any symptoms after multiple colonoscopies and upper endoscopies. I had both procedures today and after 8 hours , I’m still miserable from the headache, sneezing , nasal congestion, sinus pain, severe ocular pain with excessive tearing. It’s a relief to know these are not uncommon. I’ll make sure I tell my gastroenterologist I would want a different type of sedation next time.

      • I had a hysterectomy one week ago. My nose has been running, sneezing, burning and my eye is tearing ever since I woke up in the recovery room. Several have asked, but no one has given suggestions on how to stop this. Any help would be appreciated.

        • My friend just had this same problem after a colonoscopy. They used fentanyl 100 mgs, versed 3mgs, benadry 25 mg IV and zofran 4mg IV. No propofol like others have mentioned. She said that the nurse in training pushed the cannula in too far so I thought maybe it scratched the inside of her nostril. Same cold, allergy type rhinitis. I suggested she take Day Care for the symptoms along with the saline mist spray. It went away after 2 days but she is having an endoscopy next week so is concerned about it happening again. I told her to report it to the g.i. doc that did the colonoscopy and also mention it to the endo doc before the next procedure. According to these posts it sounds like it is pretty common and these attending anesthesiologists or procedure nurses need to be more careful and need to be reported if they allow it to happen and to also follow up on it. She mentioned it to the g.i. office when they called the next day to check on her and they told her to check with her pcp, that it wasnt their problem. B. S. This sounds like a known problem that they fail to admit might happen.

          • The reason the GI office says it is not “their” problem is truly because it isn’t — in the sense that they cannot control what the anesthesiologist does and this is an anesthesiology workflow. I still believe they need to put pressure on the anesthesiology team to do a better job!

    • I had a colonoscopy yesterday and I’m miserable I can’t quit sneezing and my nose won’t quit running this is so agervating and miserable I am so upset no one told me about the side effects I had a colonoscopy before and this never happened what did you do to quit sneezing and nose quit dripping I’ve taken Benadryl and Allegra and nothing seems to help.

  17. I had a colonoscopy yesterday – Immediately after waking up in recovery I was sneezing. I asked the nurse why I was sneezing so much and she said “it is probably the air conditioning”. By the time I got home my left nostril was running like crazy and the sneezing continued. The next day (today) My left eye has been watering all day in addition to the sneezing and left nostril running. I googled first and found this forum and than called my dr’s office – at which time the nurse told me it is from the oxygen and tubing and will go away in a day or so. I was not sick at all nor have I had allergies ever prior to going in for the colonoscopy and having gone to sleep for this procedure.

    • It’s not from the oxygen or the tubing directly, it is from the set up of high flow oxygen directed into ONE nostril. This is absolutely not necessary but have no idea if anyone is working on a better way to accomplish the aim of safely keeping patients oxygenating while not making them uncomfortable for days after the procedure.

  18. Thank you for your post! I had my colonoscopy on Friday, and I had a runny nose (right nostril only) and was sneezing constantly the minute I got home and all day Saturday. The sneezing finally stopped today (Monday). I still have a runny nose, but it’s significantly better. Your post and all the comments from others helped me figure out my problem. I emailed my dr.’s office about my symptoms.

  19. I have the same symptoms! After waking up from my colonoscopy today I started sneezing and my nose has not stop running. I am still feeling the same symptoms . I will be putting this down on my patient survey and turning it into my doctor I will also let her know how miserable it is. I just took a Claritin and I’m hoping that will make a difference .

  20. I had my colonoscopy Wednesday my nose was burning after my procedure and then the sneezing started then the watery eye and nose like a faucet only my right side. Today is Friday and still the same minus the sneezing as much. I have this procedure every 3 years and have never had symptoms like this before. Miserable indeed… I knew it had to be from the oxygen but very glad I found this post, As for medication to relieve this nothing has helped me to dry up. I know the feeling when people are saying miserable.. I think it’s down right annoying, I am pretty sure the nurse knew what was up with me and just handed me Kleenex.

  21. I’ve got the same thing and called the place where I had the procedure. The nurse said she’s never heard this. Maybe if more people speak up about it, someone will finally look into it. It’s painful, tickley, and liquid is just pouring out my nose. I can’t blow it fast enough.

    I’m considering flushing my nose netty pot style with salt water. I haven’t taken any allergy meds yet.

  22. Thank you for the information. I just had a colonoscopy today and it started with my left nostril tickling and then it started running. Glad I know why now. I popped a Vitamin C worried I picked something up.

  23. I just had an endoscopy today at 1pm and have runny nose, eye tearing, and frequent sneezing. This all started on the drive home. When will it end? Is it safe to take a Benadryl along with my nightly 2mg Ativan for sleep tonight? Is this too much sedation after the anesthesia today?

  24. I had a colonoscopy yesterday and am too sneezing and only my right nostril is tickling and burning however I was given what can only be described as a sponge which was popped into my right nostril only, supplying oxygen, never heard of it being done that way but am still getting the symptoms as everyone else has described! Oh well at least I know it will pass and it isn’t painful just annoying!

  25. Had a colonoscopy about a year ago and propofol was used. Almost as soon as I awoke I had a massive runny nose…but just from my R nostril. Used about 10 Kleenexes right out the gate. Mine did not persist very long.

    Interesting to learn that the problem is due to the one nostril O2.

  26. Had a colonoscopy yesterday 12/7/16. Immediately, when the oxygen tube was put in my nostrils the right side starting burning terribly. Asked what was it, and was told it was oxygen. Said I’d had oxygen before and it never caused my nose to burn, thought I was having an allergic reaction. Was told it could be the plastic. I keep pulling the tube out saying something must be wrong, but they kept putting it back saying it would stop. He gave me the IV and next thing I was waking up and my nose was very painful. I took the tube out and asked nurse for tissue and starting blowing, thought I had something in my nose but only a little liquid came out. Then I started sneezing. I thought I had had an allergic reaction to something. No one said anything about this reaction being a common one because of the medication. Was a little afraid because I have asthma and a lot of sneezing can trigger shortness of breath. Thank God, didn’t have an asthma attack but have been suffering all day today trying to figure what to take to relieve symptoms. So glad this website is here so I have some idea what’s going on. Will definitely contact the doctor to let them know that patient should be advised of the side effects of this new procedure. Have had two prior colonoscopies without any kind of side effects.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

  27. I had a colonoscopy this morning and is soon as I woke up in recovery I started sneezing and sneezing and sneezing my nose is running and it’s been eight hours, this is miserable someone needs to report this issue. I called my doctor and asked the nurse she said take Benadryl and is not helping me at all. My nose is dripping like a faucet and I continue to sneeze. This is so frustrating!!!! I had a cold a couple weeks ago and just got over that about four days ago. This is ridiculous I’m so upset.

  28. Same thing for me today. I almost never sneeze, & this is ridiculous. So far I’ve only found one study that only deals with the type of delivery system:


    Hope the link works.

    I tried a Vick’s nasal inhaler, knowing that Camphor & Menthol are mild anesthetics, but it only helped briefly. Next, I sprayed a 2% Lidocaine solution (marketed for burns) onto a Q-tip & inserted it waaay up into my right nostril. This worked a little better than the Vick’s, but it wasn’t a magic bullet. If I come up with any other ideas, I’ll post them.

    Good luck to all
    Janet K, Rph

  29. Thank you for your post. I am suffering the same misery and your information was very helpful. I have had 2 surgeries, spinal and foot surgery in the last few years. A colonoscopy and this was my 3rd Endoscopy and never had this occur. This is day three after procedure. When the nurse called day after, I told her no after effect from Endoscopy but told her about severe nose drip, irritation of right nostril and constant severe sneezing. She told me probably from Anesthesia but could not give me an explanation. I will notify my doctor directly to make him aware. Strange also that as I noted in other postings that I slept through the night but as soon as I woke started sneezing again. Thank you again.

    • I had a colonoscopy yesterday, July 11, 2017, and when I awoke, I felt a pricking in my nose and took the oxygen tube out of my nose, but the nurse put it back in. I immediately started sneezing and sneezing and my nose ran constantly. As soon as I awakened this morning, it started all over again and has continued throughout today. I have to use paper towels, as Kleenex is not sufficient to collect the fluid. As soon as I take the paper towel from my nose, it drips on the floor, or my clothes. As the rest of you have been commenting, it is miserable. When the doctors office called this morning to see how I was doing, I told them I was having no problem from the colonoscopy but I have a pricking in my nose causing me to continually sneeze and my nose to drip like a sieve. She said she had not had this complaint before. I told her it was only in my right nostril. She said the Oxygen is administered in the right nostril. I thought perhaps I had gotten an infection from the oxygen mask until I googled and found this website. I’ve had three prior colonoscopies and have never had this problem before. Several comments I have read on this page said the anesthesiologists have started using a different method of applying the oxygen which is causing the problem. I tend to concur, since propofol was always used in prior colonoscopies and I never experienced this horrible problem before. I’m thankful to know the reason for my misery and that I’m not going crazy.

  30. I’m suffering from this. It’s horrible. You’d think that they would let you know it’s a potential side effect.
    I can’t breathe at all from my right nostril it’s that painful.

  31. Had a colonoscopy four days ago. The second one. I had forgotten how sick I got after the first one, until they took the oxygen off. I have been miserably ill with a head cold. Missing the rest of the week of work and most likely trudging through next week sick. I have asthma; I’m terrified this will get into my lungs before it’s done.

  32. Thank you all for posting. I had a colonoscopy yesterday and got severe rhinitis on the way home. Fell asleep after a meal and had severe sneezing on waking, right eye streaming. Woke up in the night with it as well. Right nostril burning. Washed nostrils with cold water, applied vicks liberally and turned the electric blanket on. Symptoms eased enough to go nacl to sleep. So relieved to discover it’s linked to the oxygen and not allergies.

  33. Just had my colonoscopy/endoscopy yesterday. Seems like a little thing to complain about but I have taken several OTC’s and nothing is working to relieve the symptoms. My nose is raw from blowing and and my eyes watery. What a mess LOL

  34. Well I guess I’ve joined the itchy, sneezy, drippy club. I had an endoscopy today and just like the rest of you, as soon as I woke up in recovery the itching n burning started in my right nostril. They had to give me benadryl but no one bothered to tell me what was going on. Funny thing is, I’ve had many surgeries and procedures under sedation, but this was the first time this happened. Hope it’s the last time

  35. I had a colonoscopy last Wednesday. Today is Sunday (day 5) and I am still not completely over the misery. I also woke up from the procedure sniffling and sneezing, and the rest of that day my nose was just like a faucet running with constant stabbing, tickling sensations. I began to rinse both nostrils with just plain water, and the stinging pain was horrible, but that seemed to help, so I have been continuing that up until now. The second day I called the nurse at the surgery center and she suggested Benadryl. I took two and it was no help. (The doctor who did the procedure never returned my call.) Yesterday the running nose began to slow down, but my eyes are still swollen and watery, and I have almost no sense of smell. I also am able to sleep, thank goodness, but when I begin to move around, the symptoms begin.

  36. Thank goodness for this post and all you beautiful people. Had my first colonoscopy/endoscopy today. When they put the oxygen on my nose, I immediately commented that it felt like a lot… no comment. Then I noticed that it felt like one side was not in my nose. This explains it perfectly!!! No relief with Claritan, tried some Vaseline up the one nostril that’s bugging me (helped a short while), and then Neti Pot… nothing. Guess I’ll wait it out. Thank you for the perfect explanation. I’m going to suggest they add it to the take home information. Geez.

  37. Thank you for posting this information. While I’m sorry to see so many patients suffering from it, it’s good to know it’s common. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy this morning and have been bothered with sneezing and a runny nose since then. The left side is a bit congested my right nostril is running, itching and burning like crazy. I took cold medicine and it has not helped. They do need to tell you this is a common side-effect.

  38. I had my first ever colonoscopy yesterday. I noticed when the nasal cannula was inserted it felt uncomfortable. I tried to adjust it a little, but, still somewhat uncomfortable. Afterwards, in recovery, I awoke to sneezing & burning in only in right nostril. I kept sneezing over & over. My nose was running like a faucet. The nurse brouget me a box of kleenex, which I used most of by the time I got home. At first I thought my allergies were really bad, but, I decided something wasn’t right & Googled the symptoms. Sure enough, I found this forum & discovered I’m not alone in my misery. This is terrible. I cannot even function like this. I too, have noticed it doesn’t effect me while I’m sleeping, but, as soon as I get up…burning, runny nose & watery, teary eye…only the right side. I had awful headache yesterday, but, not today. I do feel slightly feverish, though.
    Nobody told me this reaction could happen. It’s now, Friday night…I hope it gets better very soon. I will be calling the facility where the colonoscopy was done & report my symptoms. I will also be calling my doctor. They really need to use another method of sedation…this is not right at all! Thank you all for sharing your experiences.

  39. had my colonoscopy on april 4th, 2017 and showed the same symptoms as above. sneezing and nose running like a turned on faucet. i tried everything i could think of, nose sprays ( three different kinds), double zyrtec, cold medicine, saline solutions in the effected nostril (only) left one, I suffered through the second day, my left eye dripping and getting more and more swollen when my husband said try ibuprofen and tylenol. so i took one tylenol and one ibuprofen and -bingo- after a short time the itching in my left nostril stopped and , therefore, the sneezing! just thought i pass this on

  40. I had my colonoscopy this morning. Same itching, burning, tingling, sneezing with massive unrelenting drainage focused mainly on the right nostril. I’ve nearly gone through a box of tissue so far. I used Claritin, Sudafed and nasal spray before googling and finding out my efforts will be to no avail. Everything about my procedure was textbook until this. I will report it on the questionnaire and to the nurse who calls tomorrow. It’s pretty horrible. If anyone has found anything that works to alleviate the symptoms or speed up the recovery, please share.

    • I just had my first colonoscopy yesterday with similar experience. I told my husband I was sure it was the oxygen. Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts. I am so miserable. I am done with colonoscopy. I pray I never have the need for it again. I wish they had warned me.

  41. I’m so glad that I was curious enough to Google my runny nose as an after effect of anesthesia. Years ago, my mother mentioned that there were instances where she had been administered an anesthetic for surgery, and had experienced a runny nose or cold post surgery and wearing off of the anesthetic. I had therefore heard about a runny nose as a side effect of anesthesia but had never experienced it. I had my third colonoscopy yesterday….when I got home and proceeded to rest, my left nostril felt dry so I massaged it a little and then applied some saline solution. About thirty minutes later, my left nostril started to tingle/burn slightly and then I began sneezing. I am still sneezing today….also with a runny nose/nostril and having to blow my nose intermittently. I guess I’ll have to suffer through it or use some Benadryl or Ibuprofen even though the doctor recommended no aspirin, etc for the next 7 days.

  42. Exact same symptoms as listed above after my endoscopy. Now if someone can create a list of things to try to manage the symptoms I would be most grateful.

    • Had procedure yesterday. Within 2 hours after started runny nose, eye only right side and sneezing. Friend said dip a Qtip in coconut oil and swab nostril. I did and I got about 3 hours of relief then it started again. Gonna do another swab. I will try anything

  43. Wow! I thought the pre-op procedure for a colonoscopy was , but the immediate sneezing and MAJOR runny nose AFTER the colonoscopy is even worse! With the multitude of complaints just in this thread why don’t anesthesiologists find an alternative procedure than the heavy oxygen flow through the nostril. And most say it will last 3 to 4 days? I certainly didn’t have this problem 4 years ago with the same gastroenterologist. Come on doctors – remember “Do no harm”?

  44. Like everyone else I googled side effects from colonoscopy anastesia as I woke up with a snuffed up nose and within a few minutes started sneezing and I mean hard sneezing. I have had a tissue to my nose ever since and it is sometimes driving to the floor before I can grab a new tissue fast enough! I have not had a cold in about 8 years and figured initially it was allergies or as thesaurus went on that I picked up a bug at the hospital. But it did not feel like a cold really although it is making me feel miserable and my nose is raw after an afternoon and evening. While I read about possible side effects from anastetic and understand why they feel the need to do this, it would have been good to know and I will inform my doctor at my follow up appointment about it. Thank you to the persons above who got me informed. Positive is it is not a cold.

  45. Me too!!! I just had vascular surgery and immediately after started sneezing and my left nostril running! I’m on day three and beginning to lighten up. Although this morning I woke with hives left side abdomen. I am thinking this may be due to the nasal spray I was using to help with the runny nose! Bright side: Hives and runny nose are lessening the irritation of incisions!

  46. I am so glad I found this thread. I had colonoscopy yesterday 8:00 a.m.. started sneezing in recovery and still miserable 24 hours later. I have taken an antihistamine, used my daily Flonase. Nothing helps. I got no sleep last night added to the no sleep the night before due to the wonderful miralax.
    This is miserable and glad to see I’m not the only one. I guess you just have to live through it. Fortunately I am retired and don’t have a job to report to.
    I will definitely add comment to any survey I get and will ask about this if any other procedures come up.

  47. Had the endoscopy and colonoscopy this morning. Immediately upon “waking up,” right nostril was crazy itchy and I’ve been a waterfall ever since. Benadryl allowed me to sleep, but as soon as I woke and sat up, the buckets began again and I can’t believe this much fluid is in my body to begin with. I have to work tomorrow and am thinking of wearing a bandana across nose, robber-like, so no one has to see the involuntary nasal drip. And keep the tissues packed like a baby’s bib? There MUST be a better way. For all of it – including the Prep “beverage.” Nowhere near as painful as the diverticulitis, but almost as debilitating. I’m grateful to find this thread so I know I’m not alone.

  48. Thanks for posting. Had my first colonoscopy today. Procedure went smoothly. The aftermath not so. Dripping and sneezing is profuse. This may have a negative impact on my career. This can’t be acceptable medicine.

  49. I had colonoscopy surgery yesterday, and I too am suffering terribly from these same symptoms. I woke up early morning with what felt like a severe sinus infection and headache. A hammer to my big toe I imagined would be far less than the pain I felt in my head. Now, I’m not a doctor, but I am a pilot, so here is my uneducated but educated explaination and solution to your pain. Michael Jackson died from the use of propofol as a sleep aid. I suspect that propofol works as a anesthetic because it takes over your body and slows down its ability to maintain itself (respiration and heart rate). That is why we fall into such deep unconsciousness. Now, to counter this anesthesiologists pump in, through one nostril, near pure O2 (oxygen) in order to keep our cells and body alive. This insures that we do not lead to hypoxic asphyxiation, which leads to death. Now, pilots have to be mindful of this condition also. Because at altitude there may not be enough pressure to pump oxygen, or atmosphere into our bodies. And I say “atmosphere,” because we animals on earth’s surface do not breathe an atmosphere of pure oxygen. Without looking it up, I believe our atmosphere which we humans have adapted to live in only contains about 33% or less O2. Sometimes, other than when in emergency situations pilot will use our oxygen mask at a setting of 100% O2 to clear our heads and spike our awareness and mental processes. And then we come home to what we believe is Sinusitus caused by bacteria in the oxygen mask. So, in a sense, we are on an “oxygen high” or oxygen intoxication. I remember how good I felt after coming out of surgery. I had such good feelings and happy thoughts. I almost bought I and my wife brand new Ducati motorcycles as I visited the store coming home from surgery. Then the sinus trouble and headache, and sneezing the sentivity to light started. Intensified by the dry bright Las Vegas climate I live in. In otherwords I was suffering just like Migraine headache sufferers. Your cells are over-stimulated and now your sinus and head hurt. I also suffer over stimulation and pain from smelling perfumes and deodorants. So, the next morning, after a sleepless night, (I also had to call in sick from my next airline trip this morning) I.on an educated guess, took some Migraine formula aspirin and so far it has relieved the pain and sneezing. I hope this helps you.

  50. Oh, and also, your bodies, noses and heads are working feverishly hard to re-adjust to the non 100% pure oxygen environment we live in.

  51. I just had the same experience after an epidural with sedation. Could not understand why the sudden nose swelling and eye swelling and itchy painful nostril. Have had at least six of these procedures and never had an experience like this. Like everyone else I tried antihistamines and nose spray and found little relief. Putting aloe vera in my nostril did help soothe the burning itching. I don’t understand why at the same Center just four months ago I have the same procedure and had absolutely no adverse effects. This time however I had extreme nausea after the procedure and then this ridiculous swollen nose swollen eye condition. It is truly miserable but I agree with others that just a heads up about what it is would help.

  52. Same exact thing after my colonoscopy today and really, it is miserable especially after what the procedure puts you through. I came across this website looking for suggestions: https://forums.netdoctor.co.uk/discussion/16961/allergic-reaction-to-oxygen-nasal-tubing/p2

    A post suggested vibrocil nasal spray for instant relief. Could not find a pharmacy near me with it or a spray with its active ingredients (Dimethindene-Maleate and
    Phenylephrine). Called the hospital pharmacy and they suggested generic nasal sprays with the second ingredient and/or Afrin. I tried the generic with 1% Phenylephrine and the sneezing stopped immediately and tearing and runny nose are markedly improved.

    It’s only been 1.5 hours but if you’ve had severe rhinitis with this procedure, you know any relief is most welcome. Will be calling my gastroenterologist to wage a complaint in hopes that the procedure changes. Best to fellow sufferers!

  53. Same symptoms exactly. Called nurse at surgery center an she recommended antihistamine. Took one I had at home (Benadryl) and it helped.

  54. Many thanks to Back2ord for the 1% Phenylephrine tip. After almost 48 hours, with the rhinitis starting again this morning, I finally made it to the end of this thread and was ecstatic for something to try. I keep the generic version of this spray on hand for colds, but since I wasn’t stuffy, it hadn’t occurred to me to try it. I feel like a new person! One piece of advice, though. If you use it too often or use too much, it can cause rebound symptoms/stuffiness. The directions say a dose is 2 to 3 squirts, but I suggest trying to get by on less for the post-anesthesia rhinitis. Only one squirt seems to be working for me so far, and someone else suggested tylenol, which I may add to the mix. Although the anti-inflammatory properties of ibuprofen might work better, it is not recommended post-colonoscopy, as it may increase the risk of an internal bleed.

  55. Glad I looked this up. I had EGD and Colonoscopy, and this is not my first rodeo but it is the first time I woke up sneezing, runny nose and left eye watery. It is now day 3 after procedure and I am still sneezing, nose running and watery eye. I will be sure to complain to the Nurse when she calls me. This has never happened before.

  56. July 14, 3014
    Today after my Colonoscopy woke up with runny nose nurse claim it was my allergies. Stuffiness in right nostril. Never have had this issue before after a Colonoscopy

  57. Spent the day in bed with tearing eye ( left side) , dripping nose and headache. I usually roll with side effects , but this is crazy ! My prep for colonoscopy was a piece of cake compared to this. I’m 100% telling my doc about this . My husband is going out now to get some Afrin and hopefully that will work .

  58. I had a colonoscopy with proponal on Tuesday afternoon. Woke up with soft clot of fresh blood in right nostril, coughing, congestion, and complete laryngitis. I had none of these when I walked in. It is now Thursday night, and none of the symptoms have resolved in the least. None of these potential side effects of the anesthesia were mentioned to me in pre-interview of anesthesiologist.. There was an oxygen delivery device on my nose when I first woke up and the nurse quickly removed it.

  59. First time I have every had this side effect from this type of anesthesia. While I am relieved to find I am not the only one, it is MISERABLE. I agree that after the awful colonoscopy prep it just doesn’t seem fair to be this miserable immediately after. Right nostril completely plugged and sneezing up a storm. Has anyone had had relief from drugs like Sudafed? It looked like not. . . .

  60. Had a procedure done this morning. I’m sneezing like someone threw red pepper flakes in my face! To make matters worse, the hard sneezing forces me to run to the ladies room. I’m tempted to take an antihistamine, but do I really want to aggravate my dry eyes?

  61. Colonoscopy on monday, followed by sneezing and a torrent of dripping from my right nostril. Day 3 and no improvement. Benedryl helped a little but side effect is sleepiness. Allegra no help so far. My pharmacist thought the oxygen might have “burned” the tiny hairs in the nostril which catch the moisture from the sinuses. She said the hairs will grow back but it may be 3 or 4 weeks. Anesthesiologists should take care to moderate the intensity of the oxygen flow.

  62. Here’s the skinny! I had a Colonoscopy and an Endoscopy today. When I woke up my right nostril was itchy, burning and my nose was running like a faucet had been turned on. The, after about 5 hours I started getting stuffy but yet my nose was still running. I’ve been through almost a whole box of kleenex, mine and theirs combined. I’ve had kleenex stuffed up my nose while trying to do dishes and also care for my 5 dogs.
    I couldn’t take it anymore so I called the facility where my procedures were done and spoke with the nurse. Here’s what happens……. when you you lay on your side (left) the opposite nostril (right) does not get the same air flow as the one closest to the bed (left). So it dries out the membranes in there and when you sit back up normal it begins to it h and burn then your nose begins to run. Also, when you blow and blow and blow it’s causing congestion in your nose.
    The remedy: VASELINE put ya a Lil bit up in your nose to keep it moist. That should do it. Lord Don’t go spending lots of monet on products that you don’t need and won’t ever use again after a few days. Just get some vaseline. Walmart….travel section in the pharmacy area 99 cents. Can’t beat it! Good luck y’all.

    • Totally agree with the vaseline but think the nurse was being disingenuous — there is too much oxygen flowing on one side and, depending on how the delivery system is set up, it may be directly blowing on the membrane. This is related to only having oxygen delivered on one side. The CO2 monitor is on the other.

      • I agree. I had some injections in my neck and shoulder today under anesthesia. I was lying flat on my stomach with the oxygen tube on. And I have the exact same miserable side effects as everyone here. The new O2/CO2 explanation makes complete sense. I’ve had colonoscopies before with no problems afterwards. Glad I found this site to explain what is going on. And I have to go through this procedure 2 more times in the next several weeks. I’m definitely going to say something to the anesthesiologist!

  63. Thank you so much for this info!! I had a colonoscopy on Thursday and within 10 min. of being wheeled back into the recovery room and having those little tubes removed from nose, I started sneezing. The nurses had no idea about what would have caused my sneezing! The sneezing continued for 24-36, has mostly diminished but my nose/sinuses aren’t 100% yet. I’m still walking around with a box of kleenex and my left nostril is still sensitive. And air conditioning seems to aggravate it. Can’t believe more info didn’t come up in a google search. Thank you, again, for sharing your experience!

  64. Had a colonoscopy this afternoon. The procedure should have taken 40 minutes but because of difficulties,11 polyps were found and removed, the time taken increased to nearer 2 hours. I started of with gas and air but the high level discomfort experienced meant I was given sedation through the cannula fixed to the back of my right hand. Unfortunately, because one of the larger polyps proved difficult to remove I will have the procedure repeated in 3 months time as there could be a risk not all of it was removed.
    Within an hour of arriving home I developed constant sneezing and a very runny nose, all the symptoms of a heavy cold. Thinking this odd I Googled the symptoms and was amazed to see this is a very common occurrence amongst patients recovering from a colonoscopy procedure and is something to do with gas/air/sedative combination. I will raise this with the nurse who is scheduled to call me in the morning as I do find it strange no mention was made during my pre-procedure talk with the nurse two days ago.

  65. Just had an upper endoscopy procedure, woke up to a burning right nostril, teary right eye, sneezing all day runny nose on my right side won’t stop. So glad I found this I thought I caught a nasty bug while I was asleep. I called my doctor he never even knew about this, the mystery has been solved, I am surprised that my doctor was clueless about this.

  66. I had a colonoscopy Friday morning and started sneezing. My nurse asked if I was allergic to him. First day I sneezed all day long. I took Benedryl and other antihistamines I had and nothing helped. My sneezing has slowed down but my runny nose is still running on Sunday. I am miserable. I will definitely let my doctor know how the anesthesia they are using now is affecting their patients.

  67. Thanks to all who reported on this issue! I’ve had prior colonoscopies before but never with these symptoms? I just had a colonoscopy this morning and upon waking up, I had similar symptoms that were reported on this site.
    My right nostril is itchy and I have a runny nose and now i’m sneezing like mad!! I’m going to try half of an antihistamine and see how that works. I’m afraid of taking a full tablet because my stomach is stil a little queasy from the prep/cleanse that I did last night/this morning. I will also try Maggie’s suggestion of a little Vaseline in the nose and see how that works. Thanks again to all who posted to this site!

  68. I guess I get to make it into this club! I had my colonoscopy yesterday morning and by the time I left the facility I started sneezing and dripping only in my left nostril. All afternoon until bedtime miserable! Thought maybe it was from the plastic tubing. I awoke this morning with all the same symptoms mentioned in this post thread. I went in healthy and was assured that the prep was the worst part. I thought I would google my symptoms to see if anyone else had a reaction similar to mine. Now at least I know what I am dealing with. I will need to advise the facility that the prep wasn’t the only negative aspect of my experience. I am grateful to read of some possible remedies to try to relieve my discomfort.

  69. I’ve read several posts and they describe precisely the experience I am having one day after my procedure.
    I was about to tear my hair out! My left nostril was so sore, dripping the entire day like a tap and my nose is red raw!
    It may be a fortunate coincidence but I have just bought some peppermint flavoured gum and voila! My nose is feeling a lot better and the dripping got better. How bizarre!!!!

  70. I go in for endoscopies about every-other month while I try to get data relating to EoE. I often get the same thing, which lasts for about three days. I’m told it’s just the oxygen drying out the sinuses. The best solution I’ve found (apart from asking them to turn the oxygen down beforehand) is to use a tissue as a dam, like you would for a bloody nose. It stops the irritation in your upper nasal passage.

  71. POSSIBLE BROKEN NASAL CARTILAGE – After colonoscopy – Feels like the left lateral cartilage in my nose is moving around whenever i breathe through it. This tickles and sometimes i sneeze. Nose drools also.
    Was on left side, but know they often reposition you to facilitate passage of scope through the colon, and wonder if the left lateral cartilage got damaged.
    The facility said it was from the oxygen cannula, that it can irritate the nose. Hope that’s all it is; it’s only 2 days after the scoping.

  72. Day 2: I talked to my Dr’s assistant today about this horrible rhinitis (left nostril causing me to multiple-sneeze all day long, have a runny nose and watery itchy eyes) and told her how I discovered I am not alone. She tried to tell me that she was having allergy issues today and that perhaps that’s what my issue was too. I told her I do not have allergies while I looked up the local pollen count because my husband wasn’t suffering (which he would if the count were high). Today’s pollen count was at a medium and hubby wasn’t bothered at all and he worked outside all day. I cannot imagine that I am the first person to complain about this. She was very quick to disclaimer how great my Dr is… which I was not contesting at all. He was working on the other end, for cryin’ out loud! I said, “I have no problem with my Dr, it’s the cannula in my nose that was the problem!” LOL I have to endure another colonoscopy in 6 months so we shall see about a full face mask next time. I do know that one of my previous three colonoscopies I did have a face mask and I’m betting the same for the other two as well since I’ve never had this happen before. I’m going to check with my former Dr tomorrow.

    There are studies on this too https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3043006/


  73. Thank you for you responses, as I have had the exact same symptoms. My nose has been not just running, but literally dripping since I got home a few hours ago. And yes, one nostril is burning and itchy. So, no huge deal. Beats the hell out of what I went through last night… 🙂 After reading so many responses, apparently this is common, but why didn’t anyone’s doctor or post-op nurse mention this???

  74. Well this happened to me yesterday at my colonoscopy! This was my 3rd colonoscopy over about 15 years and it never happened before. Got home and had itching in my left nostril and started sneezing ALL DAY. Of course I googled this reaction and saw I wasn’t alone. The sneezing continued until I woke up this morning. The sneezing was constant and so disturbing! So happy it stopped but there has to be a reason if it’s happening to so many people!

    • I had my 4th colonoscopy (with a new Dr and facility) over a week ago, same thing but NEVER the 3 previous times. It was so horrific that it caused rhinitis (runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing) for at least three full days. I even called the medical assistant who denied ever hearing such a thing. After speaking to another medical professional, she agreed that the cannula irritates the inside of the nose which can cause the inflammation and that brings on all of those symptoms I mentioned.

      My husband’s colonoscopy was four days ago and he requested that they use a mask on him because he wasn’t going through the bs I just went through. They were able to find a mask and he walked out of his procedure 100% fine! So, now I know… and now you all know… you should request a mask. I plan on letting them know when they call to confirm the appointment with me. I have to go back in about 6 months.

      Here’s the kicker… As soon as the rhinitis started to clear up, my right eye remained rather itchy and the eyelid stung. The itching and burning was also above my eyebrow and in my scalp! I have shingles! Now, whether this is all coincidental, I don’t know. People get shingles from either low immunity or stress. I hadn’t been sick with even a cold in at least a decade though stress can run a little high, however, I was freaking out about the rhinitis issue and feeling like crap. It’s all too weird. However, I will NEVER EVER allow a cannula near me again!!

  75. Based on the number of comments, possibly our medical community should realize this a REAL thing and discuss it with patients. My colonoscopy / upper endoscopy was yesterday. I sneezed really hard several times in recovery and my nose started running and it hasn’t stopped. Allergy medication – doesn’t touch it. For all the terrible stories and nervousness about the procedure – it was not a big deal. THIS however, is MISERABLE to deal with! I get to look forward to doing the upper endoscopy again in 4-months.

  76. Right eye was light sensitive, left nostril burns a little and runs. Slightest tickle makes me sneeze. I had a colonoscopy as well, this morning. Propofol was used for my procedure, also. Truthfully I had sinus pressure weeks prior to the procedure, so I thought that the anesthesia wearing off, was normal. Hindsight being what it is, I’m glad they found nothing. I’m actually relieved to see this is common, just hoping it doesn’t last long.

  77. I had my latest colonoscopy on 9/28/2017. Before this one, I had about 6 or so colonoscopies with “conscious sedation” — not completely knocked out but comfortable. All of them went well with no side effects. This was my second one with propofol but my first with a nasal canula with oxygen. I found out later that I was also given a “breathing treatment.” I went in perfectly well and feeling good. I woke up with fever and a bad cough. At home, my temperature was 100.6. I called the colonoscopy center, and the gastroenterologist wanted me to go to an emergency room for an x-ray; she was concerned about pneumonia. Instead, I called my primary care physician, who asked me some savvy questions (Do you have chest pain? Are you out of breath when you are sitting down?” etc.). He suggested that I wait a day or and call back if I got worse. My fever slowly subsided, but I coughed more than 2 weeks. This propofol-oxygen system is ridiculous!! If I ever have another colonoscopy, I will not accept the same kind of anesthesia and breathing management.

  78. Glad to find this site as I thought I was coming down with a cold after my colonoscopy yesterday but thought it was strange it was only in one nostril. I was also given an oxygen tubes in both nostril and when they put the tubes in – one nostril stung a little bit. I was given propofol as well but don’t know if it was through the IV or oxygen mask.. Thought that was strange as well. Have been doing nothing but sneezing and having a running nose (one side only) for 24 hours now. I was told they use propofol because nurses can administer it and it doesn’t take an anesthesiologist. I didn’t have an anesthesiologist. Had a colonoscopy 10 years ago and didn’t have this response. Wish they would have told me beforehand this might happen – now I’m just pissed off they kept it from me.
    Is there any relief for this? Will cold medicines help?

    • If you look through the posts here you may find other remedies. They don’t tell you about it because it is an anesthesiology-related problem and they don’t consider that a GI problem.

  79. I am a respiratory therapist and had an EGD and colonoscopy yesterday. The drippy left nostril began not long after I got home. Then the sneezing began. I have had these procedures done seperately though 6 years ago and did not have this reaction. I place oxygen on patients all the time and do not see this reaction. I am also glad I googled this to find so many others had this weird reaction. I am going to ask some MDs about this. I was on my left side and the runny nostril is the left.My sedation was propofol. I hope this goes away sooner than the 7 or 8 days i’ve read about. My nose is raw from wiping and blowing. And like others seems to not bother me while asleep but starts again in the am. placing a cotton ball in the affected nostril helps alittle

  80. I have same symptoms and I have found some relief using Alka Seltzer plus cold tabs. I hope this ends soon because this will stop people from getting the procedures done.

  81. Wow! Just got home from having upper and lower endoscopies. Exact same symptoms. I’m sorry you all have/had this happen, but I’m glad I’m not going crazy. I, too, thought I had “caught an immediate cold” while at the center. I had the upper endoscopy 3 years ago, also with propofol, but don’t recall this happening. Perhaps I had an oxygen mask instead of the nostril cannulas?

  82. Ugh! Thanks for the post … same condition here – colonoscopy, oxygen from plastic tubing, right nose sneezing! This should have been included in the after care instructions…

  83. I have all the symptoms as so many others have expressed, and am completely miserable. My first two colonoscopies were never like this, I guess they have a different way of anethesizing me with this new doctor. I will never have it done this way again, I am shocked they do this to people knowing how it will (or could) affect them later. Don’t use a doctor who uses a nostril cannula, there have to be alternatives. Shame on them who do this to their patients, without any concern for later discomfort!

  84. I also experienced the same thing. I am going to find out if they make a non allergenic tubing. If so, I will suggest that it be offered before my next procedure.

    • It’s not an allergic reaction. It’s mechanical and has to do with the flow of oxygen out of the tubing into your nose, irritating it.

      • Can you explain it more? I have no medical background, so I will need some additional insight as to what’s going on and how it may or may not be corrected. Thanks.

  85. Let me add my name to the list of individuals similarly affected. Just had my colonoscopy today and I had a stuffy nose as I left the facility. Tonight, my left nostril feels irritated, I have a stuffy nose and I cannot control the sneezing and runny nose. It is as if I have severe hay fever symptoms. I, too, was sedated with propofol and oxygen. I am hoping these symptoms go away quickly and there are no long lasting affects.

    • In one of the posts above, someone suggested using a cotton ball in the nostril. I took the suggestion, using just enough of the cotton ball that allows me to breathe through the cotton. In my case, it worked to stop the sneezing and most of the runny nose. I was able to sleep comfortably through the night. I removed the cotton this morning with only a slight runny nose and very little sneezing. I plan to continue to the use the cotton while at home. (Gotta go out to finish my holiday shopping.) I hope others will get some relief by using a small portion of a cotton ball to partially occlude the nostril and thanks to the poster above for the suggestion!

  86. Thank you all, I too had a colonoscopy today and came home thinking I had a cold, but the running is so relentless I googled and found you. I’m glad to know I’m not crazy or have a cold! If it’s not gone tomorrow I’ll be singing while I work. Someone said that helped. At least it’ll scare everyone off so they won’t see my nose running. Merry Christmas!

  87. Well, my colonoscopy was this morning, and I’m miserable with all the same symptoms mentioned above. I mentioned to the nurse anesthesiologist that the oxygen hurt my nasal passage as soon as she put it in, but she simply ignored me–I was OUT seconds later. I’ve gone through a box of Kleenex, am sneezing a ton, have a throbbing pain in my right sinus and a sore/dry right eye socket. It really pisses me off that no one is talking about this, especially since it is CLEARLY an issue/COMPLICATION of this ostensibly new and improved anesthesia.

  88. I had an Endoscopy yesterday. When I woke up I immediately felt my nose bothering me and felt irritated. Slight headache. Before I could get home I started sneezing like crazy and nose ran like water faucet both nostrils all day. I felt like it was an allergy attack on my sinuses, worse on right. Even my face below my right eye was sore. Started taking Benadryl and did saline nasal rise and nose spray for some relief. Took more Benadryl to sleep. Not as bad laying down. Second day, same symptoms but not as bad. I feel great other than these miserable symptoms. Do not feel sick at all….feels like terrible sinus allergy. No issues before procedure. Started right when I woke up from procedure. So

    If you an anesthesiologist help us figure this out! I have had several Endoscopy and Colonoscopies for past 9 years using Profopol so it has nothing to do with that. Never had this happen before!

    • It’s not the propofol but began with anesthesia wanting to monitor people more carefully when using propofol so they have changed their protocols with CO2 monitors and oxygen flow.

      • Thank you for your feedback! My next procedure is colonoscopy and they are going to use a mask. Couldn’t use mask with Endoscopy. Hope it helps! Still miserable but better 2nd day now.

  89. Wow. This is crazy. I had a colonoscopy. First time with the nose oxygen. Came out with three very strange and severe sneezes. So far only slight left sinus pressure, praying tomorrow morning I don’t wake up full blown. However I feel like my nose is starting to fill up. Threw up from prep stuff. Looks like a full week of feeling terrible for these tests. Glad to see some recommendations, but agree anesthesia doctor should make us aware. Hope they will honor a mask request next time. It is a known issue as I see they are researching it based on complaints. Seems like an easy fix to use a mask when possible.

  90. I guess we’ve started our own little “Me Too” movement here. Had an endoscopy on Tuesday – went in perfectly healthy. I’ve been under general anesthesia three times now but this was the first time I’ve ever had the pronged oxygen thing. It surprised me when they put it in – the feeling just kind of jolted me. The very first thing I noticed when I woke up half an hour later was that my right nostril was burning like crazy and running. By the middle of the day, I felt like I had a full-blown cold on the right side of my face, with lots of really hard sneezes, etc. Made it through an entire box of tissue by evening. With all the warnings about having a sore throat after the procedure, my throat is the only part of my head NOT bothering me! It’s Day 3 now, and the burning/itching nose and eyes cold symptoms are a little better but far from gone. Anyway, I feel quite vindicated after discovering this long list of people with the exact same complaints, so thank you! Ultimately not a big deal, I just would have liked to have been warned ahead of time.

  91. Same thing has happened to me after my 6th colonoscopy. The nurse told me it will eventually go away and to take antihistamines. Very strange since it’s never happened before.

  92. I’m so glad I found you all.But really unhappy so many of us have the same thing going on and for well over a year and it’s never been addressed that we know of. My colonoscopy was yesterday. This is my 3rd colonoscopy but my first having propofol. I’d rather be doing the colon prep!! I swear there has been more mucus coming out of my nose than water coming out the other end for the prep. Just like all of you it started right after I woke up with burning that won’t stop. I have no knowledge of what kind of oxygen I received because I was out before I received any.

  93. I’m so glad I googled this problem. I had an endoscopy yesterday and as soon as I got home I started sneezing and my left nostril kept running. Every time I bent over it ran. I am still at it today and was really baffled. But, now I know. This is not as bad as my first colonoscopy when they used an oxygen mask throughout the procedure. I woke up with a wet cough and the anesthesiologist just shook his head and had no idea what it was. By that night I had a fever and was getting worse. A MD friend diagnosed me with aspiration pneumonia from inhaling moisture from the mask. I recovered in a few days without any antibiotics, but if I had not been a healthy person it could have been a disaster. So, now I insist upon the nasal cannula and have a different problem. You can’t win.

  94. Whew, am I glad I found this! I had a colonoscopy this morning and before I even left the facility I had what I thought was a severe allergy attack. It’s almost 12hours and 1/2 a box of Puffs later and no relief. Never knew it was a “thing”.

    • Just be careful. I pressed the Dr for days afterward and finally found out they used a nasal trumpet for an airway. They must have scraped me putting it in. I ended up with a nasty sinus infection that went into bronchitis. I’m on day 8 of 10 of antibiotics.

  95. Just had a colonoscopy this morning and as soon as I woke up in recovery I started sneezing and my nose started running. I too worried that maybe iwas having an allergic reaction until loved at this site. Hopefully it goes away soon!

  96. I had a colonoscopy 6 days ago and the same applies – but I am still sneezing and my nose is still running. Hopefully it will clear up soon!

  97. Thank you Kathy and all the commenters! I have spent so much time and money on my petulant sinuses that I was in a bit of a panic after today’s colonoscopy. I thought that surely that’s where this violent sneezing was headed. Earlier I sneezed so hard I felt a crack in my neck! I really want to make my complaint to the right people at the hospital.

  98. Thank goodness for this article! I had a colonoscopy yesterday and by mid-afternoon I felt pretty good EXCEPT that my left nostril was tender to the touch, and clear liquid was draining out of it like a faucet. I’d had a colonoscopy in 2008 and did not experience this at that time. I was sure something had gone wrong — or someone had shoved the apparatus into my nose without taking care. Now, 24 hours later, the dripping has nearly stopped but my nostril is still very tender.

    My question is this: with all the contraindications that were mentioned, why was this not included? I would have not been surprised if someone had said, or the post-op instructions mentioned, that this could happen.

    • I think it is because it is an anesthesia issue and the anesthesiologists consider it “minor”. They obviously haven’t had enough people on their cases about it.

  99. I too had this issue with a colonoscopy last yr, thought it was just me and a reaction to anesthesia. But had a wrist surgery 10 days ago and still sneezing, running nose from both nostrils. Taking Allegra and Flonase but still using a box of tissues a day. I’ve been telling my husband I can’t believe how much I am sneezing, it’s crazy, finally decided to google it and now I can’t believe how many others had this too. So not sure it’s it O2 or a reaction to meds. I know with the colonoscopy I got Propofol, with this wrist surgery I got Versed first, not sure what I got afterwards. And what about future procedures?

  100. I had my colonoscopy this morning and have all the same complaints that everyone else has. I feel like four of the de en dwarfs , Sneezey, Sleepy, Dopey and Grumpy and I’m looking for Doc!

  101. I had my colonoscopy 5 days ago & had the sneezing, running nose on only left side for 3 days! Nothing helped! I feel fine today. This new anesthesia practice needs to stop!

  102. Just had a hysteroscopy yesterday and woke up in recovery with right nostril dripping which I mentioned to the nurse. No comments though I made her notate in my records. Then came home to same symptoms of nose dripping like a faucet, pain at root of nose, and extreme sneezing. Found this forum this morning after little sleep and thank you all for helping to understand what’s going on. I will be calling the anaesthesia department!

  103. First ever colonoscopy 6/27/18. My nasal issues started within 2 hours of the procedure. Propofol & high volume oxygen combo for my procedure. Watery eyes, sneezing, congesting, nasal drip, etc. Called facility to mention symptoms & asked why they weren’t put on the Post-procedure instructions/warnings I was given when I left. Tried Benadryl & nasal saline spray. Symptoms seem to be getting better.

  104. This is crazy! I am havining these same very annoying symptoms after having foot surgery using the same type of of anesthesia used during colonoscopies, along with the oxygen administered in my nostrils. I have never had oxygen administered before for any procedure so I had no idea what to expect. I certainly didn’t expect this! I am definitely going to discuss this with my dr. and the surgery center! My foot is just beginning to have feeling again and I have been warned that it will be very painful when the numbness wears off and I should take my pain meds as prescribed to try to stay ahead of the pain. This will be just great to battle pain and runny nose and constant sneezing at the same time! 😬

  105. I had my Colonoscopy on Tuesday and woke up sneezing my head off. It felt like someone had jammed a pencil up my right nostril. My nose drained and ran so much over the next few days that I lost my voice. I am 4 days post procedure and my nose still is not right. I’m taking an antihistamine to try and dry it up. I also tried saline gel. The nurse said this was common. This was my 4th colonoscopy and this has never happened before. Hopefully they will have this worked out before my next one!

  106. I had an endoscopy 3 days ago and right after I woke up, I told my husband it feels as though something is in my right nostril. I tried so hard to blow my nose and then it started to run like a faucet. I began to sneeze and my eyes were watering. When I spoke to the doctor’s office today, they said that a lot of patients complain about this. Only some of the patients get this reaction. Needless to say, I did not have this reaction the prior 2 times that I had these procedures done.

    • I had two endoscopy procedures in the past few month and had very similar reactions both times. The past Friday I had an endoscopy or EGD, and arrived in recovery room congested. The sneezing followed shortly after. This time I really had a sever case of rhinitis, mostly sneezing nonstop sometimes. I took Benadryl, Allegra, nasal sprays, nothing really stopped the sneezing. Last night I took Benadryl 25mg 2 tabs, and still sneezed a bit before going to bed. Can’t understand why O2 will cause such a reaction for so long. Today is day 3, hoping today will be the end of this nightmare!😩

  107. I had my second colonoscopy yesterday, and the nose running and sneezing began immediately. I will do my best to make the facility aware of the results, and of Kathy’s feedback that it is due to administering high-flow oxygen in one nostril. This is miserable! I used a Breathe-Right strip last night to sleep and it seemed to help, but today the waterworks are on again. Will try my neti pot and advise if this helps.

  108. Wow .. so glad to have found this site. This same thing happened to me after carpal tunnel surgery. The anesthesiologist used propofil and as soon as they removed the tubes from my nose, and I was coming to, I heard the doctor say “What’s she doing”. I was starting to sneeze is what I was doing and kept sneezing as I was wheeled out of the surgery room. I went through one box of tissues while in recovery. Then we left and I continued to drip and sneeze. It feeling like my left nostril has a spot that tickles or maybe there is a sore up there. I have taken two types of antihistime, which helps the symptoms .. a little … but it is not going away. I am miserable. I also have asthma, so really don’t want anything upper respiratory happening. We should all write the the anesthesia association (I’m sure there must be one for the trade). Maybe if they get hit with a bunch of letters, they’ll stop this practice!!

  109. I had a colonoscopy months ago…I have ongoing problems since then with (mainly right nostril), cheeks painful, headaches, etc.! I’m frustrated!

  110. Thank you,Kathy, for addressing this problem. It has been 51/2 weeks since my colonoscopy under propofol and nasal cannula O2. I awoke with immediate sneezing and by the time I got home the nose was draining so much that I carried a hand towel with me for days. Then the facial itching, headache and post nasal drip began. Five days later I couldn’t talk at all, and since then I am very hoarse, my throat and ears hurt at the end of the day even when I speak very little. I have been to my internist and the ENT(go again tomorrow) and am on Flonase once a day and Astelin twice a day with slow improvement. Since the antihistamine makes me very drowsy, I can’t drive and since my throat will hurt, I don’t talk much-it’s like being a hermit. It’s no fun going out with friends if you can’t talk! I contacted the administrator of the surgery center with my issues, my chart has been pulled for this month’s Medical Review Board Meeting, she has reached out to my doctors for my records, forwarded my post-op survey to anesthesia. She will contact me after their meeting with results concerning possibly a change in O2 administration, pt. choice of mask or cannula, explanation of possible side effects of cannula, etc. I will update with you afterwards. As an aside, I think because I was so exhausted, this contributed to a UTI (have a 20 yr. history of complicated episodes) at 2 weeks post procedure. With the added back pain and 2 weeks of Cipro, it has been a difficult time.
    Linda RN

    • I am impressed and excited that FINALLY someone has managed to get someone to address this problem. As you can tell from this blog post it has been an issue for many many patients with no one willing to even admit it happens. I have tried, to no avail, to get my system to at least warn people about it. You would think I was making this side effect up. Congratulations and I look forward to hearing what comes out of your efforts!

      • Saw ENT 2 days ago. He did a video of the vocal cords, showing they do not close at all now, ordered speech therapy and if no improvement then injections to the cords done as outpatient. He is doing more reading, guessing there was some kind of neuromuscular damage. Nasal sprays are now PRN, probably not much help. Internist is also reading. Review Board meets next Tuesday, November 13th. Will update when I receive reply.

        • The Review Board has decided since I am the only patient who has had this reaction (really?), there will be no policy changes in procedure or warnings of possible side effects from O2. Requests for a mask instead of the cannula will, however, be honored. And how is someone supposed to know to ask? Am doing speech therapy with no significant improvement, continue on voice rest (haven’t had a real conversation since Oct.1,), see ENT again on the 28th.

    • Wow! I thought I was the only one who ended up with a hoarse voice. My problems started Dec. 11, 2017.My voice has not gotten better though I have seen 2 ENT, Speech Dr, Pulmonary Dr and my own doctor. 3 larynxoscopies , 3 ct scan and an ultrasound still no answers. During my colonoscopy on Dec, 11, 2017 I coughed and had a larynx spasm . My 02 level dropped to 40. They aborted my procedure and when I come to I had sore throat, hoarse voice and a cough that sounded like a bark. My eyes would water and then I would sneeze. I asked if they intubated me but they said no. I wouldn’t let them use any anesthesia when I finally had my colonoscopy.

  111. I know its a bit boring but me too! I had my colonoscopy in a Dublin hospital this morning. Exact same symptome in recovery room. Told the nurses who got the house doctor for me. He checked chest and blood pressure and heart rate and discharged me with a script for periton. None of the nurses or doctor acted as if they had any knowledge of why my symptoms had come on so suddenly. I asked them if it could be from oxygen, which was given by cannula. They looked puzzled and one nurse said that she had stopped the oxygen as soon as the procedure was finished. So I think they knew more than they pretended. Madness. I’m drinking lots of water as feel this is dehydrating and we already are dried out from prep. I will be making a nuisance of myself here in Ireland ha ha.

  112. Kathy, you have done a wonderful public service by publicizing this apparently common but woefully unaddressed problem. Same to all those who have replied with their experiences with propofol and its administration. This creates a record that I am going to print out and give to the administrator of the surgery center where I had my colonoscopy yesterday, as well as to my gastroenterologist.
    I had exactly the same reactions — bark coughing upon awakening and for hours, right nostril pain, runny nose all night and into this morning, teary eyes. Couldn’t sleep — a major problem since I also didn’t sleep the night before the colonoscopy. Lord only knows how long this will last.
    I have found temporary relief from using a neti pot. But it is only temporary.
    It is outrageous that, at the very least, patients are not advised of these possible side effects before and after the procedure. They advise us of other things to watch out for after a colonoscopy, but not a word about anesthesia after-effects.
    Outrageous, too, that physicians are dismissive of this obvious problem with both the anesthesia and its administration.
    Again, many thanks to Kathy and everyone else. Let’s hope, if we spread the word, this problem will be recognized and addressed.

    • Go Lisa, as I’ve mentioned before I have gotten nowhere with my system and I’m considered a “physician leader”. Harrumph.

    • There is a safety reason during surgery for the way they decide to administer the oxygen through the tube in nose that has to do with saving the patients life during surgery should it be necessary .

      However, it should be known that the use of a mask instead of tube in nose increases the danger to saving patient life during surgery by average 30 seconds .

      I personally insist on the mask . I also insist on wearing socks during surgery due to the cold during surgery causing me leg cramps after colonoscopy propophyl anesthesia

  113. Hi. My mum had an endoscopy and gastroscope yesterday. She started sneezing none stop in the recovery room. She has irritation in her left nostril. Thanks to the person that recommended putting a piece of cotton in the sensatized nostril. It helped a lot. She also took a desloratadine tablet and used a nasal gel. She is much better today. Still sneezing with a runny nose but much better

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