Vasomotor rhinitis

Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Vasomotor rhinitis refers to a condition in which the nose is stuffy or runny for reasons other than allergies or infections. Vasomotor rhinitis affects millions of Americans every year. In many cases, the cause of vasomotor rhinitis is not known, but triggers include emotions, odors, poor air quality, spicy foods, and medication side effects. According to a 2002 evidence report published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), there is insufficient evidence to reliably differentiate between allergic and nonallergic rhinitis based on signs and symptoms alone. The minimum level of diagnostic testing needed to differentiate between the two types of rhinitis also has not been established. An algorithm is presented that is based on a targeted history and physical examination and a stepwise approach to management that reflects the AHRQ evidence report and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approvals. Specific approaches to the management of rhinitis in children, athletes, pregnant women, and older adults are discussed. The exact cause of vasomotor rhinitis is not known, even though certain triggers are common. It is important to distinguish between allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis, as a runny or stuffy nose in allergic rhinitis is caused by a reaction to a specific allergen. In vasomotor rhinitis, triggers that lead to symptoms are much more general. Risk Factors:
  • Asthma.
  • Alcohol use.
  • Certain odors, such as smoke or perfume.
  • Dry air.
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
  • Injury to the nose.
  • Polluted air.
  • Spicy food.
  • Strong emotion.
Symptoms: Symptoms may include:
  • Nasal drainage (rhinorrhea)
  • Nasal irritation.
  • Nasal itching (nasal pruritus).
  • Runny nose (nasal congestion).
  • Sneezing.
Diagnosis: The doctor will ask you about your symptoms, when they occur, and what seems to trigger them. You will also be asked about your home and work environment. The doctor may look inside your nose and see that the tissues lining the nose are swollen due to inflamed blood vessels. Allergy skin tests may be done to rule out allergies as a cause of your symptoms. Blood tests to determine your total blood levels of IgE (allergic antibody) and total circulating eosinophil A leukocyte readily stained with eosincount (a type of white blood cell) may be ordered. Treatment: Vasomotor rhinitis can be extremely annoying and difficult to live with, although it has no serious complications. Treatment consists of:
  • Avoiding and minimizing factors which contribute to symptoms.
  • Using appropriate medications.
  • Adding moisture to the nasal passages if dry air appears to contribute to symptoms, e.g. saline irrigations or a humidifier.
Your doctor and you will need to find out together which irritants should be avoided (perhaps excessively cold temperature at night) and which medications or combination of medications works best to control your symptoms. Preventive Measures:
  • Avoiding polluted air.
  • Avoiding triggers such as spicy foods.
  • Engaging in regular physical activity to open up the airways.
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.  

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