- Chronic rhinitis is an ear, nose, and throat condition that is common during this time of year (cold, wintery months).
- To better understand what chronic rhinitis is, we must first look at the name itself. Rhinitis means inflammation of the mucous membrane within the nose.
- In this blog, we explain what chronic rhinitis is and how it can be treated.
There are two types of chronic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is typically caused by airborne allergens and it is commonly referred to as hay fever due to its symptoms of itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose. However, there is another form of rhinitis called non-allergic rhinitis. For this kind, allergies are not the sole or contributing cause of inflammation. The “chronic” part of both names indicates the presence of symptoms for more than a few weeks or months.
Hay fever is often seasonal, particularly around this time of year or in the summer. Your body may develop rhinitis because it is mistaking contaminants in the air (especially pollen) for harmful invaders, which is why your body may produce symptoms as they enter your nose. The most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Throat irritation (if mucus gets caught in the throat)
- Coughing (if mucus gets caught in the throat)
Non-allergic rhinitis has similar symptoms. Patients often find themselves needing to blow their nose, but with no mucus coming out. This is often due to patients mistakenly thinking their blocked airways are the result of mucus build up, but it’s really because the nose is so swollen that breathing may become difficult.
Chronic rhinitis is not caused by the immune system like allergic rhinitis is. It’s not yet understood what causes this condition, but we do know patients may experience increased inflammation after taking antidepressants, oral contraceptives, or becoming exposed to car and cigarette fumes, pollution, or products containing chemicals that may be inhaled through the nose.
Both hay fever and non-allergic rhinitis can be treated by avoiding triggers that cause the condition to flare up. Avoid strong chemicals like detergents and other cleaning products as well as allergens and smoke. If the rhinitis persists, the physicians at AOC can help. We can provide patients with antihistamines to help fight off allergies, or provide saline sprays to help flush contaminants out of the nose. Patients may also benefit from steroid sprays to aggressively treat inflammation in the nose.
In some cases, medication may be prescribed to reduce the body’s inflammatory response for longer-lasting results. During your visit at AOC, your ear, nose, and throat specialist may look for additional causes of impaired breathing like nasal polyps, a deviated septum, and more.
Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.