Nonallergic rhinitis is a health problem that manifests all the usual symptoms of hay fever but is not triggered by any type of reaction to any allergen. Common among children as well as adults, this form of rhinitis does not present the physical health risks that are common with allergic rhinitis, but can be extremely annoying. Fortunately, there is a way to diagnose this type of condition and bring the symptoms under control.
Many of the causes for nonallergic rhinitis are everyday and can be avoided with relative ease. One common trigger for this condition is the consumption of spicy foods that irritate the nasal passages and produce an effect that is very much like that of an allergic reaction. Avoiding food that is overly spicy will cause the irritation to disappear immediately.
In like manner, factors such as prolonged stress can also produce rhinitis that is not due to an allergic reaction. While the exact process is not clear, the general line of thought is that continual stress that is not managed or minimized cause nerve endings to misfire, creating the range of symptoms that mimic an allergic reaction.
Shifts in hormone balances can also cause the development of nonallergic rhinitis. Women may experience this form of rhinitis during pregnancy or during particularly difficult menstrual periods, or even as a result of a hormonal imbalance caused by the use of oral contraceptives. Unrelated physical problems, such as and underactive thyroid, may also lead to all the common symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Often, people who experience nonallergic rhinitis will manifest the full range of symptoms related to an allergic reaction. This will include a stuffy nose that runs from time to time, an increase in mucus that collects in the throat, and a stuffy head. In severe cases, there may also be ringing in the ears and a sense of pressure behind the eyes.
People usually discover they have nonallergic rhinitis when they seek help from a physician. After running tests to rule out allergies, the doctor will focus on easing the symptoms using over the counter medications. Products such as saline nasal sprays and oral decongestants will help with the general sense of stuffiness, as well as help clear clogged nasal passages. Antihistamines may also be helpful to make the general symptoms less annoying.
If over the counter medications don’t help, the physician may go with a prescription corticosteroid spray, such as mometasone or fluticasone. At the same time, the doctor will investigate other potential underlying causes, including the development of anxiety as a result of stress. Once the underlying physical or emotional cause for the nonallergic rhinitis is discovered, the proper course of treatment can be administered and bring complete relief from this condition.