Chronic Rhinitis in a Nutshell

One of the most common complaints by people across states and social status are upper respiratory infections. Rhinitis is an example of such condition and defined not as a single disease but as a group of disorders where the mucus membranes of the nose experience inflammation and irritation. It is estimated that an American experiences rhinitis three to four times in a year which resolves on its own while about 10 to 15 percent have rhinitis due to allergic causes.


The manifestations of rhinitis are the result of whatever allergen or trigger cases the linings of the mucus membranes to become inflamed which would cause nasal congestion, feeling of stuffiness in the nose. It triggers an attempt of the body to remove the trigger thus causing itchiness and sneezing while the excessive nasal drainage or rhinorrhea is the result of the inflamed nasal mucosa blocking the openings of the sinuses. It is in the sinuses where mucus is drained but when blocked, this drainage must have another route to be drained thus it comes out of the nostrils. In some people, rhinitis is accompanied by inflammation of the sinuses causing headache.


Chronic rhinitis is usually classified as non allergic in origin, hence people who are suffering from allergic rhinitis have hypersensitive reactions to otherwise are normal stimuli to other people such as dusts, animal fur, saw dust or pollen and relieved within a period of days.


Chronic rhinitis is usually cause by environmental factors such as changes in temperature or humidity thus accounting for people experiencing nasal stuffiness and itching during the night or during the change of seasons from warm to cold ones. Another possible cause of long term rhinitis is taking of drugs especially those that affect the immune system. Drugs that depress the immune system decrease the possibility of allergic reactions but increase the possibility of developing infections that causes inflammation of the nasal mucus membranes.


The inflammation of the nasal mucosa is managed depending on its cause such as desensitizing immunizations, antihistamines or corticosteroids may be given for allergy-caused rhinitis varying on the severity of the symptoms. Rhinitis due to viruses is managed only based on their symptoms such as decongestants to relieve obstruction in the nose while rhinitis caused by bacteria is prescribed with taking of antibiotics to kill the organisms.


Aside from the use of these medications, rhinitis may also be managed by other means such as environmental modification by removing allergens and irritants causing inflammation of the nasal passages. Avoiding several products such as aerosol sprays, tobacco smoke, strong perfumes, talcum powder or fur upholsteries are also found to be useful in preventing the recurrence of rhinitis. Covering of the nose, use of masks or other self protective devices can also be used since one cannot truly identify all the triggers causing rhinitis. Other measures to relieve the symptoms of rhinitis include the use of saline lozenges, inhalation of steam, increased hydration and application of warm compress in case sinuses are inflamed.


Chronic rhinitis may appear to be very common or simple to remedy, but one must never take the discomforts and symptoms associated with it for granted.


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