What is Rhinitis?
People with rhinitis have a variety of symptoms including sneezing,
a runny or itchy nose, stuffiness or congestion, pressure, soreness, "sinus
headaches" and post-nasal drip.
What causes Rhinitis?
Many people with rhinitis have allergic rhinitis and positive skin
tests to some of the things that cause their symptoms. Seasonal allergic rhinitis
("hay fever") occurs when allergic pollen is in the air (Ragweed August - first
frost; Trees January-May; Grasses May-June). Some patients have perennial (year round)
allergic rhinitis. These patients may be allergic to dust mites, animals or molds.
Some patients have rhinitis but they don't have allergies. This is
non-allergic rhinitis. These patients develop symptoms when they are around strong odors
and irritants (perfwnes, cigarette smoke, cleaning solutions) and with temperature,
weather and humidity changes.
What are the complications of Rhinitis?
Some patients who have infections. Uncontrolled rhinitis can develop
ear infections or sinus infections.
What is the treatment of Rhinitis?
Avoidance of "triggers" (things that cause symptoms)
- Antihistamines- Only helps if allergic rhinitis Occasional side
effects - Drowsiness, dry mouth, difficulty urination, blurred vision, impotence.
- Decongestants - These constrict the blood vessels in the nose and
help decrease the swelling and drainage.
Occasional side effects - Tremors, restlessness, agitation, hypertension, difficulty
Over the counter nasal decongestants (Afrin) should NOT be used for
more than three days, and only with your doctors supervision.