Rhinitis simply means inflammation of the nose. This can be the result of allergies (allergic rhinitis) or may be the result of other factors such as mucosal irritation (non-allergic rhinitis). Common symptoms of both types of rhinitis are nasal secretions that run or that drip down the back of the throat. In addition patients may also report nasal obstruction or even facial pain or pressure. Allergic patients in particular often complain of an itchy nose often accompanied with itchy and watery eyes.
It is important to differentiate rhinitis, which is just confined to the nose from sinusitis which affects the nose and sinuses, as sinus disease may require antibiotics, steroids and possibly surgery (for more information about sinus disease click here). Furthermore, the otolaryngologist must determine if the rhinitis is due to allergies or some other factor. If we suspect that the nasal symptoms are the result of allergies we may recommend steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines (medicines like Claritin, Allegra or Zyrtec) and possibly allergy testing so you may receive consideration for immunotherapy (injections designed to decrease your reaction towards things to which you are allergic). Non-allergic rhinitis may be treated with steroid nasal sprays but is also commonly treated with medicines to alleviate post nasal drip (Atrovent or various decongestants).
If you think you may have rhinitis, or have questions about it please feel free to give us a call.