Rhinitis can be divided into two main types: allergic and nonallergic. While allergic rhinitis occurs when the immune system reacts to environmental triggers such as pollen and dust, nonallergic rhinitis is often caused by a virus. Both types cause similar symptoms.

Roanoke Valley ENT & Allergy treats the issue at our Allergy Center, located in Roanoke Virginia. 

What Is Rhinitis?

Rhinitis occurs when the mucous membranes in the nose become inflamed. It is often in response to seasonal allergies or colds.  The condition may be short-lived or chronic, and can impact children and adults.

What Are the Symptoms?rhinitis

A stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and postnasal drip are some of the most common symptoms. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergic rhinitis is more likely to cause itching in your eyes and nose than when caused by a cold. Allergic rhinitis typically resolves when the offending allergen is no longer present. Rhinitis caused by a cold usually disappears within a week.

How Is It Treated?

Avoiding allergens such as pollen and mold can drastically improve your symptoms. Certain medications may be prescribed for both types. Your doctor might prescribe an antihistamine for short-lived symptoms or a nasal corticosteroid spray for extended relief. While nasal corticosteroid sprays are specifically recommended for allergic rhinitis, nasal decongestant sprays reduce nasal stuffiness in both types. Allergy shots are another option, especially for symptoms that are harder to control.

Taking an antihistamine without a decongestant once a day or using a nasal steroid spray can also maintain symptoms of the condition throughout allergy season.

Can an ENT Help?

An ENT (ear, nose, throat) physician can treat this issue. They may ask how long your symptoms last and whether they worsen during certain times of the year. A simple skin test can reveal whether it is due to allergies. The ENT can create an individualized treatment plan based on your age, overall health and medication tolerance. Although avoiding allergens can greatly reduce symptoms, your doctor might also suggest certain medications.

Whether symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy eyes appear suddenly or predictably during allergy season, the culprit could be rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis occurs when you’re exposed to pollen, dust or other irritants. Nonallergic rhinitis may be caused by the common cold or even a physical defect, such as a deviated symptom. Dr. Lenkowski of Roanoke Valley ENT & Allergy can perform tests and suggest medication to relieve your symptoms. Contact us at 540-655-1888 to schedule your appointment today!