Do you find yourself constantly grabbing for tissues because of a runny nose? And has this been going on for quite some time — months, or even years? This constant drip may be a case of chronic rhinitis.
At Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center, under the experienced direction of Dr. Franklyn Gergits, our team of ear, nose, and throat specialists understands the many conditions that can lead to respiratory issues. Our goal is to help our patients breathe easier using the most effective treatments available.
To get to the bottom of your runny nose, we’ve pulled together the following information on chronic rhinitis.
The term “rhinitis” refers to inflammation in the lining inside your nose, which is typically a response by your immune system that also causes production of mucus, hence the runny nose part.
Rhinitis is very common and is often associated with the common cold. When it lasts for four consecutive weeks or more, however, we then consider the condition to be chronic.
Two types of chronic rhinitis
There are two main types of chronic rhinitis, which are:
This condition is also called hay fever and is caused by allergies. This means that allergic rhinitis can come and go, often with the seasons — flaring when pollen and molds take to the air. But allergic rhinitis can strike year-round, especially if one of your triggers is pet dander, dust mites, or other household allergens. This form of rhinitis is the most common, accounting for about 75% of the problem.
If your rhinitis isn’t allergy-related, then it’s often an environmental issue. For example, if there’s a smoker in your household, the smoke can be irritating your nasal passages. As well, certain medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic sinusitis, and a deviated septum can lead to chronic rhinitis. Sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of the inflammation, but luckily we’re still able to address the problem to help you find relief from your runny nose.
Stopping the flow
Before we treat you, our first order of business is to figure out the underlying cause of your chronic rhinitis, which will dictate your treatment plan. If we find that allergies are causing the problem, we typically recommend medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, or corticosteroid nasal sprays. But the far better solution is to address the underlying allergy, which we can accomplish through trigger avoidance plans as well as immunotherapy.
If your chronic rhinitis isn’t related to allergies, we recommend treatment based on what we find. For example, if a deviated septum is behind your perennially runny nose, we may recommend surgery to correct the issue, which will also help you breathe easier overall.
If you’re responding to an irritant, the best way to clear up your runny nose is to avoid it, which you can do using home filtration systems to start.
The first step to resolving your chronic rhinitis is to come see us. Simply contact one of our two locations Fountain Hills or Scottsdale, Arizona, to set up an appointment.