Chronic rhinitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Chronic rhinitis is an inflammation of the lining of the nose that lasts for more than 4 weeks in a row, usually caused by allergies. However, people with chronic rhinitis can have many other more serious causes.

While acute rhinitis usually lasts from a few days to up to 4 weeks, chronic rhinitis lasts longer. In this article, SignsSymptomsList.com invites you to learn more about this health condition!

Causes of chronic rhinitis

Depending on the cause, chronic rhinitis is classified into two main types: allergic rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis.

1. Causes of Chronic Allergic Rhinitis

For allergic rhinitis, airborne allergens bind to a substance called immunoglobulin E (IgE) found in the nose. The body releases histamine to fight these allergens. This is also the cause of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

The most common allergens are:

  • Cotton
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Pet's feathers and scales

Chronic rhinitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment • SignsSymptomsList.com

2. Causes of Chronic Nonallergic Rhinitis

Unlike allergic rhinitis, non-allergic rhinitis does not involve the immune system. Nonallergic rhinitis usually occurs when the blood vessels inside the nose dilate, leading to swelling and congestion. It is difficult to determine what causes the dilation of blood vessels. However, some of the following factors are often considered to be the cause of this condition:

  • Irritants such as perfumes, detergents, strong scents ... or environmental pollution such as dust, cigarette smoke ...
  • Weather fluctuations such as the air becoming cold and dry
  • An upper respiratory infection, like a cold or the flu. These infections often lead to acute rhinitis
  • Use hot spicy foods or drinks
  • Use of medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, beta-blockers, antidepressants, birth control pills
  • Abuse of nasal sprays
  • Hormonal changes related to pregnancy, menstruation or thyroid condition
  • Stress
  • Sinus surgery
  • Problems related to nasal structure such as deviated septum, enlarged adenoids
  • Other health problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma or chronic sinusitis

Chronic rhinitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment • SignsSymptomsList.com

To determine if your rhinitis is caused by allergies, your doctor will perform the necessary allergy tests. In which, the most common is the specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody test.

Symptoms of Chronic Rhinitis

Nasal congestion and runny nose are the main symptoms of chronic rhinitis. When you have rhinitis, you will often want to blow your nose several times a day. However, the cause of a stuffy nose is swelling of your nasal passages, not a build-up of mucus. As a result, you will notice very little mucus coming out when you blow your nose.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis, which usually appear during certain seasons of the year, include:

  • Snivel
  • Stuffy nose
  • Itchy eyes, nose, throat
  • Sneeze
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Dark circles under eyes

Chronic rhinitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment • SignsSymptomsList.com

The symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis are often quite similar to those of allergic rhinitis. However, patients usually do not have itchy eyes, nose and throat and dark circles in the eyes. At the same time, symptoms also appear all year round, not just in a certain season.

How to treat chronic rhinitis?

Many people often wonder what is the cure for chronic allergic rhinitis or is chronic allergic rhinitis curable? For answers, please refer to the following information.

The treatment of chronic rhinitis requires a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. In rare cases, surgery may be indicated to relieve the symptoms of the disease.

Using drugs

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications also help relieve rhinitis, such as:

  • OTC or prescription antihistamines for allergies, including oral and nasal sprays
  • OTC saline nasal spray solution
  • OTC decongestants. However, you should not use this medicine for more than 3 days, because it can cause a rebound effect, making symptoms worse.
  • OTC or prescription corticosteroid nasal spray
  • Prescription anticholinergic nasal sprays

Chronic rhinitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment • SignsSymptomsList.com

Lifestyle change

The best way to treat and prevent chronic rhinitis is to avoid exposure to allergens. According to Healthline, you can reduce your exposure to allergens with these tips:

  • Close windows when the amount of pollen in the air is high
  • Wear a mask when cleaning the house, when going out
  • Use an air purifier
  • Periodically change filters for heaters and air conditioners (if applicable).
  • Wash bed sheets, duvet covers, pillow covers weekly in hot water
  • Regularly bathe and brush your pet's coat
  • Sanitize your body after going out
  • Quit smoking and avoid passive smoking.

Chronic rhinitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment • SignsSymptomsList.com

Surgery

Chronic rhinitis can result from problems with the structure of the nose and sinuses, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps. In these cases, surgery may be the necessary intervention. However, surgery is only a last resort when other treatments have not worked.

Home Remedies

Nasal hygiene is an effective home remedy for both allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. To clean your nose, you can use saline, nasopharyngeal cleaning solutions sold at pharmacies or neti pot nasal irrigation.

When using a neti pot, you should use distilled, sterile, boiled, cooled or filtered water to avoid infection.

To avoid dry nose, you can use a humidifier. Besides, you should also drink enough water and drinks that do not contain caffeine. These types of fluids will help reduce inflammation and stimulate the process of removing mucus from the nose.

Capsaicin is also a treatment option for non-allergic rhinitis. However, there is currently not much evidence to prove the effectiveness of this method. Capsaicin is usually made as an OTC nasal spray. However, before using it, you should consult a specialist.

Complications of chronic rhinitis

If not treated promptly and properly, chronic rhinitis can lead to:

  • Nasal polyps: These are noncancerous growths in the lining of the nose caused by chronic inflammation. In severe cases, polyps can block the flow of air through the nose, making it difficult to breathe.
  • Sinusitis: A condition in which the lining of the sinuses is inflamed, unable to function properly
  • Middle ear infections : Ear infections can originate from a blockage of mucus in the nose
  • Impact on work and life: Symptoms of chronic rhinitis can make you feel uncomfortable, irritable, and interfere with daily activities.

Chronic rhinitis: Causes, symptoms and treatment • SignsSymptomsList.com

When should you go to the doctor?

You should see your doctor if your stuffy nose persists and doesn't seem to get better after using an OTC decongestant or allergy medication.

You should also contact your doctor if you have a fever and severe pain in your face or sinuses. These signs could indicate that you have sinusitis or another serious condition that requires treatment.

When you visit your doctor, you should let your doctor know about your specific symptoms and treatments you've tried at home.


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