Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Rhinitis / post-nasal drip

What is rhinitis?

Symptoms of rhinitis

Types of rhinitis

Remedies for rhinitis

What is rhinitis?

Rhinitis is commonly known as a runny or stuffy nose. It is caused by irritation, infection or inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose by viruses, bacteria, allergens or irritants. Excessive amounts of mucus cause a runny nose, nasal congestion (stuffy nose) and post-nasal drip. It is a common condition, about 20-30% of all people are affected each year.

Post-nasal drip is when excessive mucus produced by the sinuses accumulates in the throat or back of the nose. It can be caused by rhinitis, sinusitis, acid reflux, swallowing disorders, birth control pills or pregnancy (because of the elevated levels of estrogen hormones). It is frequently linked to allergies.

The excessive mucus can result in constant swallowing, coughing, snorting to clear mucus from the sinuses, spitting mucus, tickling in the throat, and clearing of the throat. There may be a feeling of congestion at the back of the throat, nose or sinus passages. This can lead to a chronic sore throat, broken or cracking voice, bad breath, and difficulty breathing. Large quantities of mucus in the stomach can make one feel nauseated.

Symptoms of rhinitis

The symptoms are often seasonal.

Types of rhinitis

There are three main types of rhinitis, and treatments will vary for each:

Allergic rhinitis (Hay fever)

Hay fever is an allergic reaction that usually develops immediately after exposure to an allergen, causing itching, swelling and mucus production. Particularly sensitive people may develop hives or other skin rashes. Common allergens include pollen, pet dander, household dust, dust mites, cockroaches and mould.

Allergies are now so common that about one in three people have an active allergy at any given time, and at least three in four people develop an allergic reaction at least once in their lives. Many people heal from the problem as they get older.

Air particles in polluted air and chemicals such as chlorine and detergents, which can normally be tolerated, can aggravate the condition. Try to avoid foods or smells that cause an itchy throat or sneezing.

Sometimes a person is allergic to specific allergens that they do not know about - a specialist can test to find which they are.

Inflammatory / vasomotor rhinitis

Vasomotor rhinitis is not well understood. It appears to be significantly more common in women than men, leading some researchers to believe hormones to play a role. It is rarely found in people under the age of 20. Non-allergic triggers such as smells, fumes, smoke, dusts and temperature changes can cause vasomotor rhinitis. Sufferers typically experience symptoms throughout the year. Allergic rhinitis can also bring it on.

Infective / infectious rhinitis

Infectious rhinitis is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, including the common cold. Symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, cough, congestion, and slight headache. Fever (raised temperature) is rare, except in children.

Remedies for rhinitis