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Chronic rhinitis results in a persistently runny nose and often postnasal drip, congestion, coughing, itching, and sneezing. While some symptoms may be related to allergies, symptoms from chronic rhinitis may occur all year. This challenging condition can negatively impact your life in countless ways. And trying to find an effective treatment can be frustrating. Like many, you may manage your symptoms using medications and sprays. Unfortunately, these treatments only provide temporary relief. It’s only when the root cause of your rhinitis is addressed that you can expect to find real, lasting relief.
Depending on the root cause of your rhinitis it may be further classified as allergic or non-allergic and can range from mold and ragweed (allergens) to pregnancy and cleaning products (non-allergens). These triggers signal to your mucous membrane to produce mucus, which causes your nose to be stuffed and run.
Allergic rhinitis is a common condition and even when you are able to identify a trigger for your symptoms the condition can still become chronic in nature. This may be because you have multiple allergies and the triggers are difficult to avoid because you do not respond well to treatment or other factors.
You’ve probably guessed but non-allergic rhinitis is rhinitis that is not caused by an allergy or an infection. This condition may also be called non-infectious rhinitis, idiopathic rhinitis, or intrinsic rhinitis. Symptoms must persist for no less than a year to be considered chronic.
People with this condition may also be extremely sensitive to strong odors. Coping with non-allergic rhinitis can be tricky since pinning down a cause for your symptoms can be difficult.
Depending on the root cause of your non-allergic rhinitis you may be at risk for developing complications such as sinus infections or nasal polyps.
Allergic rhinitis, like other allergic reactions, is not contagious. However, the symptoms of allergic rhinitis can be confused with those of a common cold, which can be spread from person to person.