A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Rhinitis:  Non allergic Rhinitis involves chronic sneezing or having a congested, drippy nose with no apparent cause. The symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis are similar to those of hay fever (allergic rhinitis) but there is no allergic reaction involved. Non allergic rhinitis can affect children and adults but is more common after age 20. Although non allergic rhinitis is more annoying than harmful, it can make you miserable.

Symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis can include:
  •     a runny or blocked nose
  •     sneezing (although this is less severe than in allergic rhinitis)
  •     mild irritation or discomfort in and around your nose
  •     reduced sense of smell
Rarely, non-allergic rhinitis can also cause a crust to develop inside the nose, which may produce a foul-smelling odour and can cause bleeding if you try to remove it.

Triggers of non-allergic rhinitis symptoms vary from person to person and can include certain odors or irritants in the air, changes in the weather, some medications, certain foods, and chronic health conditions. A diagnosis of non-allergic rhinitis is made after an allergy is ruled out. This may require allergy skin or blood tests.

Non-allergic rhinitis can be difficult to diagnose because there is no test to confirm the condition. Your doctor will first ask about your symptoms and medical history.

 You should see your GP if you have symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis and the condition is affecting your quality of life.

Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen. Allergic rhinitis typically causes cold-like symptoms, such as sneezing, itchiness and a blocked or runny nose. These symptoms usually start soon after being exposed to an allergen.

Common allergens that cause allergic rhinitis include pollen (this type of allergic rhinitis is known as hay fever), mould spores, house dust mites and flakes of skin or droplets of urine or saliva from certain animals.
Some people only get allergic rhinitis for a few months at a time because they are sensitive to seasonal allergens, such as tree or grass pollen. Other people get allergic rhinitis all year round.

You should visit your doctor if the symptoms of allergic rhinitis are disrupting your sleep, impairing your ability to carry out everyday activities or adversely affecting your performance at work or school.


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