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The Rhinitis Relief Centre

Updated on May 5, 2010

According to recent studies completed in the U.S. more than 50 million Americans suffer from rhinitis.

Definition

Rhinitis is the medical term given to a runny or stuffy nose that won’t get better or the symptoms come back repeatedly. Rhinitis can be classified as follows;

  • Non-allergic (vasomotor) rhinitis
  • Allergic rhinitis

 

Non-Allergic Rhinitis

Causes

The linings of the nose become swollen due to inflammation. The mucus glands in the nose get stimulated, causing a congested, runny nose. Many things can trigger this nasal swelling such as;

  • Environmental or occupational irritants - Dust, smog, chemical fumes, second hand smoke or strong odours such as perfumes.
  • Weather changes - Temperature or humidity changes
  • Infections - A viral infection such as the cold or flu is a common cause. This type of non-allergic rhinitis usually clears up within a few weeks but can cause lingering mucus in the throat (post nasal drip). Sometimes this type of rhinitis can become chronic, causing ongoing discoloured nasal discharges, facial pain and tenderness (sinusitis).
  • Foods and beverages - Hot or spicy food, beer, wine and other alcohol and food types can cause nasal inflammation.
  • Certain medications - Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) such as aspirin and ibuprofen and high blood pressure medications such as beta blockers. Sedatives, antidepressants, oral contraceptives and drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction can also cause it.
  • Hormone changes - Changes in hormones due to pregnancy, menstruation, oral contraceptive use or a hormonal condition called hypothyroidism.
  • Stress - Emotional or physical stress.
  • Prolonged use of decongestant nasal drops or sprays - Using these for more than the recommended time (usually a few days) can cause more severe nasal congestion when the decongestant wears off, often called rebound congestion.
  • Certain health problems - A number of chronic health conditions can cause or worsen rhinitis such as asthma, lupus, cystic fibrosis etc.

Symptoms

The symptoms are;

  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Mucus (phlegm) in the throat (post nasal drip)

 

Allergic Rhinitis

Causes

Allergic rhinitis is an immune system disorder where the body over reacts to harmless substances in the environment such as pollen, dust, mold, danders and food. Allergy producing substances are called allergens.

Allergens cause the activation of a certain type of antibody known as IgE. This antibody triggers the release of certain chemicals from cells in your nose such as histamine, resulting in an extreme inflammatory response and the associated allergic rhinitis symptoms. The main causes of allergic rhinitis are as follows;

  • Hereditary (runs in the family)
  • Sex (boys have a higher risk of developing an allergy than girls)
  • Age
  • Alteration in exposure to infectious diseases during early childhood
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Allergen levels
  • Dietary changes

Symptoms

The symptoms include;

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal itching
  • Post nasal drip (mucous runs down the back of the throat)
  • Sore throat
  • Sleep disturbances and snoring
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Poor concentration
  • Headaches

The Rhinitis Relief Centre is a non-profit making organisation that provides a wealth of information to rhinitis sufferers and medical professionals alike.

The Rhinitis Relief Centre has carried out extensive research on rhinitis and the various treatments available and it's main aims are to;

  • further educate people about this medical condition.
  • provide information regarding the main types of treatment available.
  • make people aware that their symptoms can be relieved, it's just a matter of finding the treatment that is right for them.

For further information please visit www.therhinitisreliefcentre.co.uk.

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