Chronic Rhinitis (cont.)
Siamak N. 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
Acute rhinitis: Inflammation of the nose that occurs for only a few days. Typically this is caused by a virus ("a cold"); if it goes on beyond a week then it is probably a bacterial infection.
Allergens: Normally harmless substances which cause an exaggerated allergic reaction (inflammatory response) in sensitive people.
Allergic rhinitis: Medical term for hay fever, a condition due to allergy that mimics a chronic cold. (Hay fever is a misnomer since hay is not a usual cause of this problem and there is no fever). Many substances can cause the symptoms of allergic rhinitis, the correct term for this reaction. (Rhinitis means "irritation of the nose" and is a derivative of Rhino, meaning "nose.") Symptoms include nasal congestion, a clear runny nose, sneezing, nose and eye itching, eye redness, and tearing of the eyes. Post-nasal dripping of clear mucus frequently causes a cough. Loss of smell is common, and loss of taste occurs occasionally. Nose bleeding may occur if the condition is severe.
Chronic rhinitis: inflammation of the nose that goes on for weeks to months which is different from "a cold", and may be caused by allergy, nasal irritants, or structural or physiological problems.
Hay fever: A seasonal allergy to airborne particles characterized by runny/itchy nose and eyes, sneezing, itchy throat, excess mucus, and nasal congestion. It is a misnomer because it is not caused by hay and it does not produce a fever.
Non-allergic rhinitis: Inflammatory condition of the nose without an obvious allergy as the cause.
Post nasal drip: Mucous accumulation in the back of the nose and throat leading to or giving the sensation of mucus dripping downward from the back of the nose.
Summer cold: Similar to hay fever. Summer cold is also a misnomer because it is not caused by a virus.
Vasomotor rhinitis: Similar to non-allergic rhinitis, thought to be mediated by an abnormal neuronal control of the blood vessels supplying the nose.
Reviewed by Peter O'Connor, MD; American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in sleep medicine
References: Price D, Bond C, Bouchard J, Costa R, Keenan J, Levy ML, Orru M, Ryan D,
Walker S, Watson M.; International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG)
Guidelines: management of allergic rhinitis; Prim Care Respir J. 2006
Feb;15(1):58-70. Epub 2005 Dec 27.
Dion GR, Weitzel EK, McMains KC. Current approaches to diagnosis and management of rhinitis. South Med J. 2013 Sep;106(9):526-31 Greiner AN, Hellings PW, Rotiroti G, Scadding GK. Allergic rhinitis. Lancet. 2011 Dec 17;378(9809):2112-22. Levy ML, Fletcher M, Price DB, Hausen T, Halbert RJ, Yawn BP; International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) Guidelines: diagnosis of respiratory diseases in primary care; Prim Care Respir J. 2006 Feb;15(1):20-34. Epub 2005 Dec 27.
Halbert RJ, Isonaka S.; International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG) Guidelines: integrating diagnostic guidelines for managing chronic respiratory diseases in primary care; Prim Care Respir J. 2006 Feb;15(1):13-9. Epub 2006 Jan 18.
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