Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip - Treatments

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How can chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip be treated?

The treatment is generally directed towards the underlying cause.

Identifying and avoiding allergens

An allergy is an exaggerated "normal body" inflammatory response to an outside substance. These substances that cause allergies are called allergens, and typically include:

  • pollen,
  • mold,
  • animal dander (cats and dogs),
  • house dust,
  • dust mites and cockroaches, and
  • some foods.

The best treatment is avoidance of these allergens, but in many cases this may be very difficult if not impossible. Some helpful suggestions include:

  • Use a pollen mask when mowing the grass or cleaning the house;
  • install an air purifier or at least change the air filters monthly in heating and air conditioning systems;
  • use cotton or synthetic materials such as Dacron in pillows and bedding;
  • enclose mattress in plastic;
  • select pillow covers;
  • consider using a humidifier;
  • keep windows closed during high pollen times;
  • eliminate house plants; and bathe pets frequently or even give away dander-producing pets.

Avoidance of nasal irritants: Nasal irritants usually do not lead to the typical immune response seen with classical allergies, but nevertheless they can mimic or make allergies worse, as in vasomotor rhinitis. Examples of these irritants include cigarette smoke, perfume, aerosol sprays, smoke, smog and car exhaust.

Identifying the possible allergens may be just as hard as avoiding them. In some, this may be identified by a very careful history taken by their physician. Details of the patient's possible exposure to allergens or irritant at home or the workplace may give some clues. In others, even a very detailed history may not reveal a possible trigger. Therefore, a consultation with an allergy specialist (allergy and immunologist) may be prudent. The allergy doctor may perform some simple skin tests to try to identify common environmental allergies.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: nikol, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I drank plenty of water and avoided eating oily or salty food. I never had late dinner or at least not after 6. After I changed my food intake symptoms are gone. Medications are not so good for the most sensitive part of your body. Drinking lots of water helps.

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Comment from: Bev, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

I have chronic idiopathic rhinitis. I got tested for allergies, with none detected. My ENT (ear nose throat) specialist prescribed ipratropium bromide nose spray. Folks, I call this stuff "liquid gold." It"s not harsh like drugstore nose sprays; it has no rebound effect, and it works. It dries up that persistent, clear postnasal drip. I've been using it for 4 years now, still just as effective. It"s prescription only, but people, I tell you, I don"t know what I"d do without it. It feels mild but it restores my nose to something resembling normal (not harshly dry, and not dripping).

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