Chủ Nhật, 12 tháng 1, 2014


Rhinitis Rhinitis is a condition that causes chronic sneezing without any cause. The symptoms of rhinitis are stuffy nose, postnasal drip and recurrent sneezing. Rhinitis can be allergic or non-allergic. It can affect any person irrespective of their age. Change in weather conditions, certain odors, exposure to certain chemicals and chronic health condition are some of the factors that trigger rhinitis. Blood test or skin test is done to differentiate between allergic and non-allergic rhinitis.

Symptoms :

The symptoms of both allergic and non-allergic rhinitis are the same. These symptoms may last for few hours or few days. Some of the common signs of rhinitis include runny nose, constant sneezing, stuffy nose and postnasal drip. Mucus will be secreted from the throat recurrently. Non-allergic type will not cause itchy nose or eyes which are caused during hay fever.

Causes :

Actually rhinitis symptoms develop when the blood vessels of the nose becomes dilated. This in turn fills up the area with fluid or mucus. Several factors can trigger this expansion or dilation of blood vessels. Some of the factors would cause symptoms temporarily (acute) and some of them may cause chronic symptoms. Environmental irritants or allergies like dust, smoke, strong perfumes can trigger the blood vessels to expand. People working in chemical factors are constantly exposed to smoke hazard are likely to develop chronic rhinitis.

Runny nose can develop due to sudden change in weather condition or changes in humidity level. The lining membranes of the nose may develop inflammation and cause runny nose. Viral infections can be a cause for rhinitis. It can cause common cold or flu leading to postnasal drip and sneezing. For some cases, this infection may become chronic running for weeks together causing sinusitis and nasal discharge. Eating hot or spicy foods can also cause rhinitis (non-allergic type). Nasal congestion can occur by drinking alcohol like wine and beer.

Certain drugs given for managing blood pressure like beta blockers can trigger rhinitis. Some medications like Ibuprofen or aspirin can also cause runny nose and nasal congestion. Individuals using oral contraceptives or antidepressants are prone to develop rhinitis. Hormonal imbalance caused during puberty, pregnancy and menstruation time can cause rhinitis. Heightened emotion or physical stress can trigger the symptoms of rhinitis. Even simple items like hair spray, smells emanating from cleaning solution and laundry detergents can cause this problem.

Who are at risk?

Individuals working in chemical environment and those exposed to smoke of exhaust fumes have increased risk of developing rhinitis (non-allergic type). Children below 20 years can develop allergic rhinitis and if you are above 20 years you may develop non-allergic rhinitis. People using nasal sprays or decongestants for long period are likely to develop chronic nasal congestion.

Women are more likely to develop rhinitis during pregnancy and menstruation time than men. Individuals with chronic health problems like hypothyroidism or chronic fatigue may develop rhinitis. Complications of rhinitis include ear infection, loss of smell sensation, sinusitis and in severe cases asthma. A nasal polyp is another complication in which the inner lining of the nose gets swollen and develop soft growths blocking the nose causing breathing difficulty.

Diagnoses :

Depending on the symptoms your doctor will make the diagnoses to conclude whether it is non-allergic or allergic rhinitis. He may examine your nose using special device and ask you few questions about how you got the symptoms. He will have to rule out allergic causes if any before giving medications. Allergic testing is done either by skin test or blood test.

During skin test, your doctor would expose your skin to tiny amounts of allergens like mites, pollen or dog dander. In case you develop rashes or bumps on the spot then you are allergic to these substances. Checking the blood test will reveal whether your body has produced more of antibodies (immunoglobulin E) to fight against allergens. In severe cases of symptoms, nasal endoscopy is done for getting a clear picture of nasal passage.

Treatment :

For mild form of non-allergic rhinitis over the counter medications can give relief from symptoms. In case you have discomfort you can try using saline nasal spray for thinning the mucus and clearing off the inflammation inside the nasal passage. Your doctor may prescribe nasal spray that contains corticosteroids like fluticasone or Nasonex for reducing the intensity of inflammation of rhinitis. It may cause nausea, headache or indigestion. Nasal sprays that contain antihistamines like Astelin, Patanase are also given. For some cases oral antihistamines would provide relief from the symptoms.

Oral decongestants like Sudafed, Afrin, Phenylephrine etc are helpful in reducing the congestion and clearing off the nasal block. But long time usage may produce side effects like anxiety, palpitations, and sleeping sickness. Benadryl is the best medication for allergic rhinitis but they may not work well in non-allergic rhinitis. In rare cases, surgery is done for removing the nasal polyps. Nasal spray that contains corticosteroid is effective remedy for rhinitis. Non-allergic rhinitis can be managed by taking allergy shots like immunotherapy. Nasal irrigation is the process of rinsing the nose with saline water. It is effective for managing non-allergic rhinitis.

Lifestyle Changes :

Rinsing the nasal passage regularly using saline kits can give great relief from symptoms of rhinitis. Blow your nose gently to expel the mucus. You can add a humidifier in your room to get quality sleep. You can loosen the mucus by breathing the steam from your bathtub. Drink plenty of water and juices and avoid coffee/tea.

Prevention :

There is no way to prevent rhinitis but there are ways to manage the symptoms. Avoid the factors that trigger the symptoms. Follow the instructions of your doctor while using medications and don’t overuse it which may worsen the symptoms.

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