If you suffer from a runny, drippy nose and nasal congestion but don't know why, you might have a problem called nonallergic rhinitis. Although nonallergic rhinitis is similar to traditional rhinitis, or hay fever, it doesn't have an obvious trigger like pollen or mold. In many cases, nonallergic rhinitis can occur all year round. Here are things you should know about your symptoms and what you can do to treat them.
How Is Nonallergic Rhinitis Different From Hay Fever?
Hay fever is one of the most common allergies known to date. The condition usually develops when your body experiences a bad reaction to dust, pollen, mold, or another trigger. Your symptoms normally include nasal congestion, runny nose, and post-nasal dripping. When you have nonallergic rhinitis, your symptoms appear to come out of nowhere. However, you still experience symptoms similar to hay fever.
There are a number of possible things that may trigger a nonallergic reaction, including cigarette smoke, bleach, and dust. Some individuals develop a negative reaction to different medications, including aspirin and high blood pressure pills. It's possible to aggravate your symptoms or make them worse by taking or using too much nasal decongestants. For example, you may use OTC nasal spray to ease your symptoms. But instead of easing your symptoms, you inadvertently make them worse.
One of the things you might do to solve your dilemma is seek medical treatment for your symptoms.
Is There a Way to Treat Your Symptoms?
If you haven't done so yet, consult with an allergy specialist about your symptoms. An allergist will generally perform an allergy test to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms. If you don't have an allergy like hay fever, a specialist may diagnose you with nonallergic rhinitis. In this case, you'll need to undergo further testing.
Nonallergic rhinitis can cause additional problems, such as nasal polyps and middle ear infections. Depending on their size, polyps may require surgery to remove them. You may take antibiotics to treat any infections you have.
To control your nonallergic rhinitis symptoms, a doctor may suggest that you use saline nasal spray. Saline keeps your nasal passages clean and open. If the treatment doesn't work effectively, you may use an antihistamine spray. But you must only use the spray as directed to avoid aggravating your symptoms.
Contact an allergy specialist like those at Northwest Asthma & Allergy Center PS to learn more about your symptoms and how to treat them.
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