Chronic Rhinitis (cont.)

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What can be used to treat non-allergic rhinitis?

Treatment of non-allergic rhinitis is similar to the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

Steroid nasal sprays and nasal antihistamines [azelastine (Astelin)] as described in more detail in the previous section, are the main stray of therapy for non-allergic rhinitis. Combination therapy using steroid nasal spray and nasal antihistamine has been shown to be more beneficial.

The other therapies, such as ipratropium (Atrovent) and decongestants, may also be used in patients who continue to have symptoms despite proper therapy with nasal steroids and nasal antihistamines.

Does salt water have any role in the treatment of rhinitis and post-nasal drip?

Irrigating the nose with salt water is very useful therapy for non-allergic rhinitis and especially beneficial for treating post-nasal drip.

Nasal irrigation utilizing a buffered isotonic saline solution (salt water) helps to reduce swollen and congested nasal and sinus tissues. In addition, it washes out thickened nasal secretions, irritants (smog, pollens, etc.), bacteria, and crusts from the nose and sinuses. Non-prescription nasal sprays (Ocean spray, Ayr, Nasal) can be used frequently, and are very convenient to use.

  • Nasal irrigation can be done several times per day.
  • Nasal irrigation is frequently performed with a syringe or a Water Pik device (the attachment is purchased separately).
  • The irrigating solution can be made by adding two to three heaping teaspoons of non-iodized (does not sting) salt to one pint of room-temperature distilled water. It is best to use Morton Coarse Kosher Salt or Springfield plain salt because table salt may have unwanted additives. To this solution, add one teaspoon of baking soda.
  • Store at room temperature, and always mix the solution before each use.
  • If the solution stings, use less salt.
  • In the beginning, or for children, it is best to start with a weaker salt mixture. It is not unusual to initially have a mild burning sensation the first few times you irrigate.
  • While irrigating the nose, it is best to stand over the sink and irrigate each side of your nose separately. Aim the stream toward the back of your head, not at the top of your head.
  • For young children, the salt water can be put into a small spray container, which can be squirted many times into each side of the nose.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/27/2013

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Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip.
Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip - Treatments Question: What was your treatment for chronic rhinitis and/or post-nasal drip?
Chronic Rhinitis - Causes Question: What causes or triggers your case of post-drip or chronic rhinitis (for example, pollen, animal dander, other allergies)?
Chronic Rhinitis and Abnormal Nasal Secretions - Causes Question: Causes vary: what conditions caused your abnormal production of nasal secretions?
Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip - Medications Question: What medications have been effective in treating chronic rhinitis or post-nasal drip?

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