Vasomotor rhinitis is a common condition that affects the nose, causing symptoms such as congestion, runny nose, and sneezing. Unlike allergic rhinitis, vasomotor rhinitis is not caused by an allergy, but rather by irritants such as pollution, strong smells, and changes in temperature and humidity. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for vasomotor rhinitis.
Causes of Vasomotor Rhinitis
The exact cause of vasomotor rhinitis is unknown. However, it is believed to be caused by a dysfunction of the nerves that control the blood vessels in the nose. This results in excessive nasal congestion, runny nose, and other symptoms. There are several triggers that can cause vasomotor rhinitis to occur, including:
- Changes in temperature and humidity: Changes in temperature and humidity levels can cause the blood vessels in the nose to expand or contract, leading to nasal congestion and other symptoms.
- Chemical irritants: Exposure to certain chemicals, such as perfumes, cigarette smoke, and cleaning products, can trigger symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis.
- Certain foods and drinks: Consuming certain foods and drinks, such as alcohol, spicy foods, and hot beverages, can trigger symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis in some people.
- Emotional stress: Emotional stress can cause the nerves that control the blood vessels in the nose to become overactive, leading to symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis.
Symptoms of Vasomotor Rhinitis
The symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis are similar to those of allergic rhinitis, but there are some key differences. Common symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis include:
- Nasal congestion: The nasal passages may become swollen and congested, making it difficult to breathe through the nose
- Runny nose: Excessive production of nasal mucus, which can result in a runny nose.
- Sneezing: Repeated and uncontrollable sneezing.
- Postnasal drip: Mucus may drip down the back of the throat, causing a cough or sore throat.
- Itchy nose, throat, and eyes: Some people may experience itching in the nose, throat, and eyes.
Treatment Options for Vasomotor Rhinitis
There are several treatment options available for vasomotor rhinitis, depending on the severity of the symptoms. These include:
- Nasal decongestants: Over-the-counter nasal decongestants can help to relieve nasal congestion and other symptoms. Decongestants can help to reduce congestion by narrowing the blood vessels in the nasal passages However, they should not be used for more than three days, as long-term use can result in rebound congestion.
- Antihistamines: While vasomotor rhinitis is not caused by allergies, antihistamines can help to reduce symptoms by blocking histamine, which is a chemical that is released during an allergic reaction.
- Nasal saline sprays: Saline sprays can help to moisten and clear the nasal passages, reducing congestion and postnasal drip.
- Nasal corticosteroids: Corticosteroids can help to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, reducing symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis .such as congestion and postnasal drip.
- Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, can help to reduce sensitivity to environmental irritants over time. This may be effective for some people with vasomotor rhinitis, especially if they have underlying allergies.
When to See a Doctor
It is important to see a doctor if you experience severe or persistent symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis such as:
- Severe symptoms: If symptoms are severe and do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, medical intervention may be necessary.
- Prolonged symptoms: If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, medical intervention may be necessary.
- Difficulty breathing: If breathing is difficult or wheezing occurs, medical attention is necessary.
- Recurrent sinus infections: Recurrent sinus infections may indicate an underlying medical condition and require medical attention.
Additionally, if you have a history of frequent sinus infections or if your symptoms are interfering with your daily life, you should seek medical attention. Your doctor may recommend additional testing, such as allergy testing or a nasal endoscopy, to rule out other conditions.
Prevention of Vasomotor Rhinitis
While there is no surefire way to prevent vasomotor rhinitis, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of developing the condition. These include:
- Avoiding triggers: If you know what triggers your symptoms, try to avoid exposure to these triggers as much as possible.
- Maintaining good indoor air quality: Keep the air inside your home clean and free of irritants such as smoke and pollution.
- Managing stress: Stress can trigger symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis, so it is important to find ways to manage stress and anxiety.
- Using a humidifier: Using a humidifier can help to keep the air moist, which can reduce symptoms of
In conclusion, vasomotor rhinitis is a common condition that can cause significant discomfort and disruption to daily life. While it is not caused by allergies, it shares many symptoms with allergic rhinitis and can often be mistaken for it. It is important to seek medical attention if you suspect you may have vasomotor rhinitis, as effective treatments are available that can help alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. Our providers at Enticare have the expertise to help you find the right treatment for your condition. Don’t wait – call us today at 480-214-9000 to get started.