Non-allergic rhinitis is a medical condition that presents with the same symptoms as an allergic rhinitis, but without the allergy as the cause, or any other apparent cause.
Symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, or a stuffy nose. It’s not a serious medical condition, although certain complications may arise from it, such as sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea and chronic ear infection. When visiting a allergist, they will first rule out any allergy as the cause of rhinitis in order to come to the diagnosis of non-allergic rhinitis.
There are several possible triggers for non-allergic rhinitis:
After coming in contact with the trigger, blood vessels in the lining of the nose expand. This leads to a swelling and inflammation can also occur. Although the symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis can look like symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and some common allergens can be the trigger for non-allergic rhinitis, the two are conditions are different.
In allergic rhinitis, the symptoms are caused by an overreaction of the immune systems, which is not the case with non-allergic rhinitis.
Non-allergic rhinitis presents with the following symptoms:
The duration of the symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis varies greatly. They can last for an hour or two, or for several days. They can appear and disappear during the year. First symptoms usually develop in early adulthood, although they can also appear before. They are also associated with a number of possible complications, including asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, loss of smell, sinusitis, chronic ear infection, and Eustachian tube dysfunction.
Treatment options include both home remedies and medications prescribed by a allergy doctor:
The first thing that needs to be done is to remove the trigger that caused the rhinitis, if possible. Rinsing the nose with saline will help, and it can also be soothing to the nose lining. Antihistamine and decongestant sprays can reduce swelling and other symptoms, however decongestant sprays shouldn’t be used for more than a few days. If they are used more than a few days, they can actually cause more congestion. Corticosteroid sprays are used when antihistamines and decongestants don’t fully help, and they are good in reducing inflammation.
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