Rhinitis is the swelling and inflammation of mucus membranes in the nose. Medical professionals classify rhinitis as either allergic, or non-allergic depending on presence of an immune system response or not.
Chronic rhinitis is a prolonged state of rhinitis beyond 90 days. Chronic rhinitis generally is non-allergic; allergies that cause rhinitis tend to be seasonal because of pollen production cycles.
Chronic rhinitis can also occur as a complication to serious diseases such as syphilis and leprosy, which destroy soft tissue, but that is rare.
What Causes Chronic Rhinitis?
Causes of non-allergic rhinitis are not always known. However, viral infections, bacterial infections, various environmental triggers, surgery, and changes in hormones have been associated with chronic rhinitis.
Types of chronic rhinitis: symptoms and treatments
- Viral rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis that results from a viral infection such as the common cold, strep throat, or staph infections.
* runny nose * congestion * swelling * dilated blood vessels within the nose.
Treatments can include decongestants, although other types of chronic rhinitis can be worsened by overuse of decongestants. Try to limit decongestant use to just a few days.
- Atrophic rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis resulting from atrophied or hardened mucus membranes. Most commonly atrophic rhinitis happens as a result of sinus surgery, or from a rare bacterial infection that occupies the nose.
Signs of atrophic rhinitis include:
* crusting within the nostrils * production of a bad odor * heavy nosebleeds * loss of smell.
Treating atrophic rhinitis is usually focused on relieving the symptoms. Topical antibiotics might be used to treat the condition if there is a bacterial culture.
Nasal irrigation tools like a neti pot can help clean out the nasal passageways and reduce odor. When cleaning out the nasal passageways by irrigation, be sure to use safe methods.
Vasomotor rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis that produces congestion, sneezing, or a runny nose; similar to allergies, but the symptoms are not caused by an over reactive immune response.
Instead the condition is thought to be brought on by abnormal regulation of blood flow in the nose, possibly as a result of:
changes in weather
Some medications can also trigger rhinitis (e.g. NSAIDs, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, etc.).
Treatment of vasomotor rhinitis is mostly limited to avoiding your trigger(s). Determining what the trigger(s) is/are can be frustrating through the trial and error process. Humidifiers or humidified central air might help patients with vasomotor rhinitis.
Idiopathic rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis without any clear cause.
Complications of chronic rhinitis
Prolonged rhinitis can result in frequent bleeding, nasal obstruction and a runny nose containing pus.
Other complications might include:
- Chronic otitis media (ear infections)
- Sleep apnea
If you think you are suffering from chronic rhinitis book an appointment with a PlushCare physician and get a prescription today.
Read more about rhinitis