Chronic rhinitis is inflammation of the inner lining of the nose that lasts longer than four weeks. Chronic rhinitis is divided into two categories, depending on the condition’s cause. Allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever) is caused by an allergic immune response, while non-allergic rhinitis is not due to allergens, but rather general irritants and other triggers. Identifying the underlying cause of rhinitis is essential to finding the correct treatment.
Once you’ve discovered the triggers for your rhinitis symptoms, you and your allergist can develop a treatment plan that best fits your needs and lifestyle.
The best way to prevent allergic rhinitis is to avoid the trigger(s) of your symptoms. A simple diagnostic test done by a qualified allergist, like those here at Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay, can identify your allergic rhinitis triggers.
No matter what your triggers are, some of the best practices for avoiding allergens include:
- Keeping windows closed during pollen season(s)
- Wearing a mask
- Changing heat and air filters often
- Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Using hypoallergenic pillow and mattress covers
- Washing bedding weekly in hot water
- Bathing and grooming pets regularly
- Showering after spending time outside
- Avoiding secondhand smoke
Medications & Treatments
Some medications and treatments that can be used to treat allergic or nonallergic rhinitis, either on their own or in conjunction with each other are:
- Saline nasal sprays
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays
- Anticholinergic nasal sprays
- Antihistamine pills
- Antihistamine nasal sprays
- Allergy shots
- Sublingual immunotherapy
Some of these medications and treatments require a prescription or physician supervision.
In extreme cases, surgery to repair the structural cause of rhinitis may be required. A deviated septum is a common cause of rhinitis that requires surgical repair. An ENT specialist performs this type of surgery.
Nasal irrigation is a popular home remedy for both allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. The most popular nasal irrigation device is the neti pot, but other options exist too. No matter what nasal irrigation option you try, be sure to only use sterile, or boiled water that has been cooled to avoid dangerous bacteria.
Some chronic rhinitis sufferers benefit from using a humidifier in their homes and workspaces. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, lubricating nasal passages and relieving inflammation. Humidifiers are available to purchase at most general merchandise retailers and online.
Capsaicin has been used as a treatment for non-allergic rhinitis and is available in a nasal spray. Research on its effectiveness is limited, and you should only try it with your doctor’s permission.
Get Help with Your Chronic Rhinitis
If you’re living with chronic rhinitis, no matter the cause, trust the experts at Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay to discover your triggers and set you up with a treatment plan that actually works. Call us at (813) 971-9743 or request an appointment online and claim your freedom from chronic rhinitis today!