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Chronic Rhinitis

Chronic Rhinitis

NASAL CONDITION

Chronic rhinitis is a medical condition characterized by persistent inflammation of the nasal passages, resulting in symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny or stuffy nose, postnasal drip, sneezing, and sometimes a reduced sense of smell.

Symptoms

Symptoms of chronic rhinitis include:

  • Nasal Congestion. One of the hallmark symptoms is nasal congestion or stuffiness, making it difficult to breathe through the nose.

  • Runny Nose. Chronic rhinitis often causes a runny or drippy nose, which can lead to frequent nose blowing.

  • Postnasal Drip. Excess mucus produced in the nasal passages can drip down the back of the throat, leading to a persistent sensation of throat clearing or a cough.

  • Sneezing. Frequent sneezing is a common symptom, especially when exposed to triggers like allergens or irritants.

  • Itching. Some individuals with chronic rhinitis may experience itching in the nose, throat, or eyes.

  • Reduced Sense of Smell (Hyposmia). Chronic rhinitis can affect the sense of smell in some cases.

Duration

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Chronic rhinitis is a condition in which the lining of the nose is inflamed for an extended period of time, typically longer than 12 weeks. It is the most common type of rhinitis, affecting millions of people worldwide.

Chronic rhinitis can be a bothersome condition, but it is usually not serious. However, it can interfere with sleep, work, and other activities.

Causes

Chronic rhinitis can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Allergies: Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is the most common cause of chronic rhinitis. It is caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, dust mites, mold, or other allergens. Learn more about allergies and allergic rhinitis here.

  • Nonallergic rhinitis: Nonallergic rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis that is not caused by allergies. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

    • Viral infections: Viral infections, such as the common cold and the flu, can cause rhinitis.

    • Irritants: Irritants, such as smoke, dust, and fumes, can cause rhinitis.

    • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy and menopause, can cause rhinitis.

    • Medications: Certain medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can cause rhinitis as a side effect.

Treatment

Treatment for chronic rhinitis depends on the underlying cause. In some cases, no treatment is necessary and the symptoms will resolve on their own. In other cases, treatment may include:

  • Medications: Medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays, can be used to relieve the symptoms of chronic rhinitis.

  • Allergy shots: Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy that can help to reduce allergy symptoms. Learn more about allergy shots here.

  • Surgery: Surgery may be necessary in some cases to correct a physical problem in the nose, such as a deviated septum. Learn more about deviated septum here.

If you have chronic rhinitis, it is important to talk to your doctor about the best treatment options for you.

Management

Here are some tips to help manage chronic rhinitis:

  • Avoid your triggers: If you know what triggers your chronic rhinitis, try to avoid those things. For example, if you are allergic to pollen, stay indoors during pollen season.

  • Rinse your nose: Rinsing your nose with a saline solution can help to clear mucus and allergens.

  • Use a humidifier: A humidifier can add moisture to the air, which can help to relieve dryness and irritation in the nose.

  • Get plenty of rest: Rest can help your body to fight off infection and reduce inflammation.

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