Chronic rhinitis is a chronic inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes, whose origin may be allergic. In the case of chronic allergic rhinitis, the symptoms may be permanent, or recur at certain times of the year: the latter is called seasonal rhinitis. In non-allergic origin, factors such as smoking or exposure to other pollutants may be involved in the mechanisms of inflammation.
Chronic rhinitis causes the following symptoms:
- nasal obstruction;
- runny nose, nasal secretions that may be visible and flow through the nostrils or flush to the back of the nasal cavity in the case of post-discharge;
- allergic conjunctivitis, sometimes accompanied by itching.
The diagnosis of chronic rhinitis is established by an examination to determine the environment in which the patient lives and to find a possible cause. Skin tests may be performed by an allergist to find potential allergens responsible for the disorder. Frequently, a scan of the sinuses is necessary to eliminate the possibility of chronic rhinosinusitis, but the scanner does nothing for the diagnosis of chronic rhinitis.
Once the cause of chronic allergic rhinitis is defined, the patient will be asked to avoid the allergen or undergo desensitization if the latter can't be avoided. In the case of mild chronic rhinitis, a drug treatment with oral antihistamines may suffice. Treatment with corticosteroids, like a nasal spray, is also possible.
The only prevention of chronic rhinitis is when allergens are identified, to avoid exposure to them, as well as to tobacco smoke or other pollutants which, in high exposure, may be responsible for the development of the disorder.
Original article published by
. Translated by Jeff