What is Rhinitis?
inflammation in the nasal cavity lining. It can be allergic or nonallergic.
rhinitis occurs when an allergen is breathed in. It can be seasonal, perennial
(occurring throughout the year), or both. Allergic rhinitis affects one in five
rhinitis is similar to allergic rhinitis, but it is not caused by any specific
What Causes Rhinitis?
rhinitis occurs when the immune system detects an allergen or foreign material.
It then works to rid the body of the allergen by releasing histamine. It is the
histamine that causes the symptoms.
generally harmless materials, but if you are allergic to them, your body
responds as if the allergen is a toxic invader.
caused by pollen, is the common term for seasonal allergic rhinitis, which typically
occurs in the spring and fall.
The causes of
perennial allergic rhinitis include pet dander and saliva, mold, and animal
droppings. Some people also develop symptoms of rhinitis from smoke, household
odors, artificial fragrances, and changes in air quality. People’s sensitivity
to common allergens and environmental factors varies greatly.
rhinitis is more challenging to diagnose. This is because it isn’t caused by an
allergen and doesn’t involve the immune system.
Symptoms of nonallergic
rhinitis can happen for short or long periods. Common causes include certain
foods, odors, smoke, and pollution. Other causes are weather changes, hormonal
changes, stress, or infections (such as colds). Nonallergic rhinitis can also
be a side effect of medications, like those for blood pressure regulation,
erectile dysfunction, or birth control.
rhinitis is sometimes caused by structural problems in the nasal cavity, such
as a tumor or narrow passages.
Who Is at Risk for Rhinitis?
People with a
family history of allergies are at more risk for rhinitis. If you already have
food or other allergies, or are exposed to irritants like secondhand smoke, you
are also more likely to have rhinitis.
What Are the Symptoms of Rhinitis?
rhinitis range from mild to severe. They generally target the nasal cavity,
throat, and eyes. They include:
or scratchy throat
or watery eyes
or facial pain
loss of smell, taste, or hearing
How Is Rhinitis Diagnosed?
allergic rhinitis, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Allergy testing
can be done using a blood test or skin test. This is helpful in determining
whether rhinitis is allergic or nonallergic.
How Is Rhinitis Treated?
The best way to
treat allergic rhinitis is to avoid the allergen. If you are allergic to pets,
mold, or other household allergens, you will need to remove those items. For pollen
or other outdoor allergens, avoid being outside during peak periods. If you
can’t avoid the allergen, then steroid spray, decongestants, and antihistamine
pills or nasal sprays can help. Other treatment options include allergy shots
rhinitis, nasal sprays made from corticosteroids or antihistamines can help.
Decongestants and nasal sprays can also help control symptoms. Surgery can be
an option for nonallergic rhinitis caused by structural problems.
treatments like herbs, acupuncture, and homeopathy can help treat rhinitis or
reduce the severity of the symptoms. Talk to your doctor to learn the best
options for your situation.
rhinitis usually clears up when exposure to the allergen has passed.
Nonallergic rhinitis can last for a longer time, but it can be managed with
treatment. Rhinitis is inconvenient but poses little health risk.