Chronic Rhinitis (cont.)
Siamak T. Nabili, MD, MPH
Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip facts
- What is the purpose of the nose?
- What are rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What causes rhinitis?
- Is rhinitis always related to allergies?
- What conditions cause an abnormal production of nasal secretions?
- What conditions cause an impaired clearance of nasal secretions?
- How can chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip be treated?
- What medications can be used to treat rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What can be used to treat non-allergic rhinitis?
- Does salt water have any role in the treatment of rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What are other options for the treatment of rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- Find a local Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor in your town
How can chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip be treated?
The treatment is generally directed towards the underlying cause.
Identifying and avoiding allergens
An allergy is an exaggerated "normal body" inflammatory response to an outside substance. These substances that cause allergies are called allergens, and typically include:
- animal dander (cats and dogs),
- house dust,
- dust mites and cockroaches, and
- some foods.
The best treatment is avoidance of these allergens, but in many cases this may be very difficult if not impossible. Some helpful suggestions include:
- Use a pollen mask when mowing the grass or cleaning the house;
- install an air purifier or at least change the air filters monthly in heating and air conditioning systems;
- use cotton or synthetic materials such as Dacron in pillows and bedding;
- enclose mattress in plastic;
- select pillow covers;
- consider using a humidifier;
- keep windows closed during high pollen times;
- eliminate house plants; and bathe pets frequently or even give away dander-producing pets.
Avoidance of nasal irritants: Nasal irritants usually do not lead to the typical immune response seen with classical allergies, but nevertheless they can mimic or make allergies worse, as in vasomotor rhinitis. Examples of these irritants include cigarette smoke, perfume, aerosol sprays, smoke, smog and car exhaust.
Identifying the possible allergens may be just as hard as avoiding them. In some, this may be identified by a very careful history taken by their physician. Details of the patient's possible exposure to allergens or irritant at home or the workplace may give some clues. In others, even a very detailed history may not reveal a possible trigger. Therefore, a consultation with an allergy specialist (allergy and immunologist) may be prudent. The allergy doctor may perform some simple skin tests to try to identify common environmental allergies.
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