What are some triggers of non-allergic rhinitis?

Rhinitis is a condition in which the blood vessels that line the nose become inflamed and swollen, causing a stuffy, runny nose. The two primary types of rhinitis are allergic and non-allergic. Non-allergic rhinitis is caused by the common cold and other factors other than allergies, including environmental factors, hormonal changes, consumption of alcoholic beverages, medications and changes in the weather.

Several factors increase your risk for non-allergic rhinitis, which can occur year-round. For example, exposure to irritants such as smoke, pollution, chemicals and fumes increases your risk. Using nasal decongestant sprays or drops for prolonged periods of time can actually worsen congestion. Women are more prone to non-allergic rhinitis, which can be triggered by hormonal changes related to pregnancy, menses and puberty.

Your doctor should be able to diagnose non-allergic rhinitis based on your symptoms. Non-allergic rhinitis can causes symptoms all year-round. These include runny nose, stuffy nose, sneezing and postnasal drip, or phlegm in the throat. It does not usually cause itchiness. Many people can have more than one type of rhinitis, so your doctor may rule out allergies as the cause. This can be done with a skin or blood test, which will determine whether you react to certain allergens. Nasal secretions can also be sampled to determine the cause of your symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.