Rhinitis is similar to hay fever but is caused by something other than an allergen. It produces cold-like symptoms that can make you feel miserable and worn down.
What Causes Rhinitis?
Rhinitis is common and can be brought on by a variety of factors such as viruses, bacteria, and other irritants. Some of the more common triggers include
- Viral infections
- Changes in the weather
- Airborne irritants
- Foods and beverages
- Hormonal changes, and
- Certain medications
What Are the Symptoms of Rhinitis?
Symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis are similar to those you experience with a cold: runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, and postnasal drip. These conditions may occur indefinitely or come and go.
Unlike hay fever; however, non-allergic rhinitis doesn’t cause itchy eyes, nose, or throat.
Non-allergic rhinitis isn’t just inconvenient. Those who avoid treatment may begin to experience nasal polyps, chronic sinusitis, and ear infections.
How Is Rhinitis Treated?
Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms, medical history, and potential skin and blood tests. Sinus problems present similar symptoms, so you may also need a nasal endoscopy or CT scan. Cryoablation of the posterior nasal nerve is an in-office procedure that can significantly reduce postnasal drip.
Your prescribed treatment plan will be based on the severity of your symptoms. Mild cases of rhinitis may respond to simple home remedies:
- Irrigation of the nasal passages with a Neti pot or bulb syringe
- Using a humidifier to moisten the air
- Drinking lots of liquids.
It’s also a good idea to avoid cigarettes and alcohol.
Your doctor may recommend antihistamines, decongestants, and/or saline and corticosteroid nasal sprays. For any physical abnormalities, surgery is the most effective option.