November 24, 2015
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Chronic Rhinitis (cont.)

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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

  • pollen,
  • mold,
  • 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 dust-mite proof pillow covers.
  • Consider using a humidifier.
  • Keep windows closed during high pollen times.
  • Eliminate house plants.
  • bathe pets frequently or do not adopt or purchase 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.

Possible allergens may be identified by a very careful history taken by a health-care professional. Details of the patient's possible exposure to allergens or irritants at home or the workplace may give clues. An allergy specialist (allergy and immunologist) can perform skin tests to try to identify common environmental allergies.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/22/2015


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