Rhinitis (stuffy nose)



Overview: 

Inflammation of the inner lining of the nose is referred to as Rhinitis. In most cases it is caused by allergies, but not always. Other causes could be exposure to changing temperatures, exposure to irritants such as air pollution or smoke, exposure to spicy foods or certain medications.

People who frequently have a stuffy or runny nose may have chronic Rhinitis. In which case, it is important to see a physician who may be able to help identify the underlying cause, ultimately leading to a successful treatment plan.


Screening/Diagnosis:

Diagnosis of chronic rhinitis is usually performed by a doctor who will perform a physical examination, as well as ask a series of questions. As the doctor tries to determine if the rhinitis is caused by allergies or not, they may perform allergenic skin tests, laboratory tests and even imaging test, if other tests show ambiguous results.Addiitonally, the physician may perform a nasal endoscopy to determine if there are any irregularities in the nasal structure.


Treatments:

Treatment varies depending on whether the rhinitis is caused by allergies or not. In general if a person suffers from allergic rhinitis, the best way to reduce symptoms is to avoid the underlying allergens. Various types of medication may also be prescribed. Such medications include:

  • Nasal corticosteroid sprays
  • Antihistamines in the form of pills or nasal sprays
  • Anti-leukotrienes
  • Decongestant pills or nasal sprays
  • An allergy shot

People with non allergenic rhinitis may be prescribed nasal corticosteroid sprays or decongestant pills. And other surgical treatment options may be considered if problems are associated with structural abnormalities.


 
 

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