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Rhinitis Treatment in Atlanta, GA

Do you have chronic nose mucus, sneezing, or congestion? You may have Rhinitis. 

What Is Rhinitis?

Our noses produce a clear, thin, yet sticky substance called mucus. Mucus traps dust, pollen, bacteria, and viruses so that they don’t make their way farther into the body and cause problems. 

The term “Rhinitis” means inflammation of the nose and typically occurs when the body responds to irritants or allergens (particles that trigger an allergic reaction) by creating more mucus, sneezing, or congestion. This reaction is often temporary and helps expel the irritants but occasionally it can become chronic (lasting longer than two months), especially in those with allergies. 

What are the Symptoms of Rhinitis?

Some common symptoms of rhinitis include: 

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus pressure
  • Drainage of mucus down the back of the throat (a.k.a. postnasal drip)
  • Frequent clearing of the throat
  • Decreased smell

Types of Rhinitis

The different types of rhinitis are classified mainly based on their causes:

Allergic Rhinitis: Allergens, which are particles such as dust, pet dander, and pollen, can trigger an allergic response in an individual’s nose. In allergic rhinitis, these allergens trigger the symptoms of rhinitis and can be quite miserable for some people. Allergic rhinitis can be seasonal, occurring only in a particular season such as Spring or Fall. Most seasonal allergies are caused by pollen from trees, weeds or grasses. Those who experience rhinitis symptoms year round, may suffer from perennial allergic rhinitis. The primary culprits in perennial allergic rhinitis are typically allergies to animal dander, dust mites, mold, and cockroach debris.

Non-allergic Rhinitis: Irritants such as smoke or other inhaled chemicals cause non-allergic rhinitis. Structural defects (such a deviated septum), the overuse of decongestant nasal sprays and even hormonal changes can cause inflammation of the nasal passageways as well. Certain medications and even alcohol can cause the mucosal lining to become congested leading to the many symptoms of rhinitis. 

Infectious Rhinitis: The common cold is probably the most common type of infectious rhinitis and occurs when the body detects a virus in the upper respiratory tract. The body then responds by increasing the amount of mucus and activating other mechanisms to expel the virus or bacteria and keep them from getting farther into the body. Infectious rhinitis differs from other types of rhinitis in that it typically occurs with other symptoms such as body aches, fever, or an overall ill feeling.

Are There Treatments for Rhinitis?

Yes, there are various treatment options for rhinitis depending on the type and cause of your rhinitis. After a thorough history of your rhinitis symptoms and exam of your nasal passageways, the experienced providers at Northeast Atlanta ENT will discuss the possible causes of your rhinitis. Together you and your provider will determine what the best method of treatment is for you. 

Some treatment options include: 

  • Avoidance of known allergy triggers, if possible.
  • Antihistamines – These come in over-the-counter(OTC) oral medications and nasal sprays. They are effective in relieving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis such as sneezing and itching of the eyes and nose. 
  • Steroids – Oral steroids may be prescribed but intranasal steroids (in nasal spray form) are now available OTC. Steroids help by reducing the inflammation inside the nose and are extremely effective. Nasal steroid sprays have very few side effects, are well tolerated, and are often used for long-term treatment. 
  • Decongestants – Available in over-the-counter oral and nasal spray form. Decongestants constrict the lining within the nose, helping to relieve some of the swelling and congestion temporarily. Be aware that the body can become dependent on nasal decongestant sprays so it is important to only use them for short-term treatment unless otherwise advised by your doctor. 
  • Immunotherapy – Allergy shots or sublingual drops may be helpful for those who do not respond to the above treatments or have other more severe symptoms along with their allergic rhinitis. Immunotherapy can effectively provide long-term relief for the majority of allergy sufferers. Northeast Atlanta ENT & Allergy offers both types of treatment for our patients suffering from allergies.
  • Surgery to repair a deviated septum. Additionally, modifications to existing medications and other contributing factors may also be required to treat rhinitis.