Do you experience sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip but have no sign of seasonal allergies? Do your symptoms last through the entire year and come without itchiness of the eyes and nose? You could be experiencing what is known as non-allergic rhinitis. This condition is not caused by allergens, and instead can be brought on by things such as food, medications, hormones, stress, fluctuations in temperature, changes in humidity, or airborne irritants. These triggers can cause the blood vessels in the nose to expand, which causes the lining of the nose to become inflamed and leads to the nasal symptoms.
This form of rhinitis should be treated and managed properly because non-allergic rhinitis can result in more serious conditions such as sinusitis, ear infections, or nasal polyps.
Determining if you have non-allergic rhinitis and treatment
You should see an allergist to first rule out allergies through skin or blood tests. You should also make sure you do not have a deviated septum or nasal polyps which can be checked with a nasal endoscopy or CT scan.Then you should discuss treatment options with your doctor which will likely include nasal sprays or nasal decongestants. There are also more natural options such as nasal washes or rinses that can be done with a product such as the neti pot. This is a great option for temporary relief, but recent studies have indicated that if you are prone to chronic sinus infections, nasal rinses should not be used on a continual basis because overuse can potentially lead to more sinus infections.
Oral antihistamines will not treat non-allergic rhinitis
People often use oral antihistamines to try and relieve their nasal symptoms but these will not work for non-allergic rhinitis, so it is very important to see your doctor to determine what is causing your symptoms.
Living with nasal symptoms year-round can be very hard to deal with, and can easily wear a person down. Finding out the cause of your symptoms is the key to treatment. Not all sneezing and congestion is caused by allergies and therefore all nasal symptoms cannot be treated in the same way.