Rhinitis is a reaction that happens in the eyes, nose, and throat when allergens in the air trigger the release of histamine in the body. Histamine causes itching, swelling, and fluid to build up in the fragile linings of nasal passages, sinuses, and eyelids.
There are two types of rhinitis: allergic or seasonal rhinitis and nonallergic or year-round rhinitis.
The most common causes of rhinitis are:
People with asthma are at a higher risk for rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is a common problem that may be linked to asthma. However, this link is not fully understood. Experts think that since rhinitis makes it hard to breathe through the nose, it is harder for the nose to work normally. Breathing through the mouth does not warm, filter, or humidify the air before it enters the lungs. This can make asthma symptoms worse.
Controlling asthma may help control allergic rhinitis in some patients.
Symptoms of rhinitis include:
Most often, the diagnosis is made by your health care provider based on an in-depth history and physical exam. In addition to the above signs, the health care provider may find:
Avoidance of the allergens that are causing the problem is the best treatment. Your health care provider will find the best treatment for you based on:
The symptoms of rhinitis sometimes look like other conditions or medical problems. Always see your health care provider for a diagnosis.
Treatments for rhinitis may include:
Preventive measures for avoiding allergic rhinitis include:
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