In medical terms, the suffix “–itis” is used to denote inflammation of a certain area of the body. “Rhino-” on the other hand, refers to the nose. Rhinitis, therefore, refers to the condition in which there is inflammation of the nasal mucosa. Most people actually think that rhinitis is the same as nasal allergies, but no, not quite. Not all cases of rhinitis are allergic in nature. In fact, this distinction is the basis for classifying rhinitis cases. They could be either allergic or the non-allergic type of rhinitis. Then, allergic rhinitis cases are further classified as perennial or seasonal. Non-allergic rhinitis also has its own subtypes; and they shall be this article’s focus.

This type is believed to be caused by the disturbance in the normal regulation of the autonomic nervous system. Common triggers or irritants include smoke, smog, various chemical fumes, temperatures, strong perfumes or even stress.

The infectious type is closely associated with the common cold caused by a virus. Typically, a bout with cold resolves by itself after a few days, but unfortunately, the inflammation may progress even to the sinus passages. Furthermore, with the nasal passages inflamed, mucus from the sinuses fails to drain properly. The warm, moist environment is very habitable for bacteria, which could lead to a sinus infection.

Changes in hormonal levels, brought about by pathological or non-pathological conditions such as pregnancy, hypothyroidism or even certain stages of a woman’s menstrual cycle can initiate rhinitis symptoms.

A number of therapeutic drugs may cause rhinitis as a side-effect. Examples of these medications are anti-hypertensives like ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers; analgesics like aspirin and NSAIDS; and oral contraceptives. Rhinitis medicamentosa is a distinct type of non-allergic rhinitis brought about by prolonged or excessive use of nasal sympathomimetics (usually nasal decongestants). People who self-medicate with over-the-counter drugs to treat nasal allergies and colds have increased chances of developing rhinitis medicamentosa.

Gustatory rhinitis is said to be brought about by stimulation of the vagus nerve and triggered by eating hot and spicy food.

Non-allergic Rhinitis with Eosinophilia Syndrome (NARES)
This type is associated with abnormal prostaglandin metabolism. Aside from the usual symptoms of rhinitis, Ten to twenty percent of patients suffering from NARES distinctly have eosinophilia (increased eosinophils in the blood).

There are several ways on how to deal with non-allergic rhinitis. The most effective way to manage or avoid rhinitis is to eliminate the cause. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible. Pharmacological management includes anti-histamine, steroidal and anti-cholinergic nasal sprays that are helpful in relieving chronic runny nose and/or post nasal drip. Sinus Dynamics, one of the leading compounding pharmacies, offers an alternative way to administer these medications. Sinus Dynamics customizes a complete line of sinusitis and rhinitis medications for use with their medicated irrigators (like ActiveSinus) and nebulizers (like SinusAero). Through nebulized therapy and medicated irrigation, the active ingredients in the medications are almost instantaneously absorbed in the nasal and sinus mucosa, thereby, prompt relief is afforded to the patient.

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