What is Chronic Rhinitis?

Chronic rhinitis is the term used to describe persistent inflammation in the nose’s inner lining. Rhinitis may be considered chronic if it lasts longer than four consecutive weeks, although it may last for months or even years in some individuals. This condition can be very uncomfortable, but maybe successfully treated with a proper diagnosis. 

What Causes Chronic Rhinitis?

In most cases, chronic rhinitis is caused by allergies. There are several allergens that can trigger rhinitis, such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander. Chronic allergic rhinitis can occur when patients have many different allergy triggers, making them difficult to avoid. However, many treatments are available for allergic rhinitis, including allergy shots

There are several possible causes of chronic rhinitis that aren’t related to allergies. These causes fall into three main categories: medications, environmental/lifestyle factors, and hormonal fluctuations.

Medications

Certain medications can lead to chronic rhinitis, including:

  • Beta-blockers
  • Nasal decongestant sprays, when used in excess
  • ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure
  • NSAIDs

Environmental/Lifestyle Factors

The following environmental/lifestyle factors can trigger chronic rhinitis, including:

  • Spicy food
  • Smoke
  • Paint fumes
  • Perfume 
  • Stress 
  • Low temperatures

Hormonal Fluctuations

In some cases, a hormonal imbalance can be the cause of chronic rhinitis. This may be triggered by:

  • Hormonal medications (i.e. birth control pills)
  • Pregnancy
  • Puberty 

The Symptoms of Chronic Rhinitis

The most common symptoms of chronic rhinitis are:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Postnasal drip

If you have chronic allergic rhinitis, you may also experience:

  • Itchy, red, and watery eyes
  • Itchy throat
  • Itchy roof of the mouth

Treating Chronic Rhinitis

The treatment for chronic rhinitis will depend on its cause. Allergic rhinitis can be treated with allergy medications. Your allergist may also administer an allergy test to pinpoint your allergy triggers, which you can then try to avoid. 

Lifestyle changes may be needed to treat chronic rhinitis, whether allergic or not. For example, if smoke is the cause of your chronic rhinitis, it’s recommended that you quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke to achieve relief from your symptoms. 

If you’re experiencing symptoms of chronic rhinitis, schedule an appointment at Kratz Allergy & Asthma where Dr. Jaime Kratz can develop a custom treatment plan for your symptoms!