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- Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip facts
- Where are the sinuses, and what do they look like?
- What are rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What causes rhinitis?
- Is rhinitis always related to allergies?
- What conditions cause an abnormal production of nasal secretions?
- What conditions cause an impaired clearance of nasal secretions?
- How can chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip be treated?
- What medications can be used to treat rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What can be used to treat non-allergic rhinitis?
- Does salt water or nasal irrigation have any role in the treatment of rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What are other options for the treatment of rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
Quick GuideSinusitis Pictures Slideshow: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment
What are rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
Rhinitis is inflammation of the inner lining of the nose and it has many different causes. Rhinitis is a very common condition. Symptoms include:
- Runny nose (rhinorrhea)
- Nasal itching
- Nasal congestion
A significant association exists between rhinitis (allergic), asthma, and chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses for more than 12 weeks) in some individuals. Some evidence suggests that up to 3 of every 5 patients has multiple conditions.
Post-nasal drip is mucus accumulation in the back of the nose and throat leading to, or giving the sensation of, mucus dripping downward from the back of the nose. One of the most common characteristics of chronic rhinitis is post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip may lead to chronic sore throat, chronic cough, or throat clearing. Post-nasal drip can be caused by excessive or thick mucus secretions or impairment in the normal clearance of mucus from the nose and throat.
What causes rhinitis?
Rhinitis has many possible causes. Rhinitis can be either acute or chronic, and is categorized into three areas: allergic rhinitis, non-allergic rhinitis, and mixed rhinitis (a combination of allergic and non-allergic).
Allergic rhinitis is the most common cause of rhinitis. It is caused by environmental allergies and is characterized by an itchy or runny nose, sneezing, and nasal congestion. Other allergic symptoms include:
- itchy ears and throat,
- red or watery eyes,
- fatigue/loss of concentration/lack of energy from loss of sleep, and
- headaches or facial tenderness (not typical).
Perennial allergic rhinitis, a type of chronic rhinitis is a year-round problem, and is often caused by indoor allergens (particles that cause allergies), such as dust and animal dander in addition to pollens that may exist at the time. Symptoms tend to occur regardless of the time of the year.