Nonallergic rhinitis is a medical term that describes a set of symptoms that resemble an allergy but that occur without a known cause. It produces symptoms such as:
- Postnasal drip
- Runny nose
- Stuffy nose
Usually, it develops in adulthood, and symptoms last year-round.
Nonallergic rhinitis can cause just as much misery as allergic rhinitis . It can also be associated with the same complications, such as:
- Sinusitis , which is inflammation or swelling of the tissue that lines the sinuses
- Eustachian tube dysfunction. Eustachian tubes connect the middle ears to the back of the throat
- Chronic ear infection , known as otitis media
- Loss of smell or anosmia
- Obstructive sleep apnea
Both types of rhinitis are associated with:
- Decreased production at work
- Increased doctor visits
- Side effects from treatment, such as drowsiness, nosebleed , and nasal dryness
Causes of Nonallergic Rhinitis
Often, what causes nonallergic rhinitis is unknown. And the condition is often confirmed only after other conditions such as allergic rhinitis or infection are ruled out.
Environmental irritants are common triggers of nonallergic rhinitis. Some are found in the home and others are more common in the workplace.
Examples of what can trigger symptoms include:
- Car exhaust
- Cigarette smoke
- Cleaning solutions
- Hair spray
- Laundry detergents
- Metal salts
When such triggers cause nonallergic rhinitis, they also often cause asthma .
Some medications can trigger non-allergic rhinitis. Examples include:
- NSAIDs — nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen
- Oral contraceptives
- Blood pressure medicines such as ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers
- Drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction
Foods and beverages may also sometimes be triggers. Examples include:
- Hot foods, such as soup
- Spicy foods
- Alcoholic beverages, especially beer and wine
- Hormone changes . Nonallergic rhinitis often occurs during periods of hormonal imbalance. For instance, it may occur during puberty, menstruation , or pregnancy . It usually starts during the second month of pregnancy and lasts until childbirth . Hormonal conditions such as hypothyroidism can also trigger symptoms
Reference: U.S. WebMD
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