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Nonallergic Rhinitis – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

In nonallergic rhinitis, patients experience congestion, sneezing, and runny nose. People with nonallergic rhinitis suffer from chronic sneezing or a drippy, congested nose with no apparent cause.

Nonallergic rhinitis symptoms are similar to hay fever (allergic rhinitis), but with none of the usual evidence of an allergic reaction.

What is nonallergic rhinitis?

Nonallergic rhinitis occurs when the tissue inside the nose becomes swollen or inflamed. Triggers may include odors or irritants in the air, weather changes, medications, foods, and chronic health conditions.


What are the symptoms? 

Symptoms are as follows –

What causes nonallergic rhinitis?

Hormone changes: Hormonal changes due to menstruation, oral contraceptive use, pregnancy or other hormonal conditions like hypothyroidism may lead to nonallergic rhinitis.

Acid reflux, sleep apnea and sleeping on your back: Lying on the back at night while sleeping can cause nonallergic rhinitis, as can acid reflux or obstructive sleep apnea.


  • Aspirin,
  • Ibuprofen
  • Medicines for high blood pressure like beta blockers
  • Sedatives
  • Antidepressants
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Medications used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction
  • Overuse of decongestant nasal sprays can also lead to rhinitis medicamentosa
  • Use of illegal drugs like cocaine

Lifestyle factors

  • Dust, smog, secondhand smoke or strong odours, such as perfumes
  • Chemical fumes like those you may be exposed to in some occupations, can also be blamed
  • Weather changes: Temperature or humidity changes
  • Infections: Viral infections like the flu or a cold
  • Foods and beverages 
  • Hot or spicy foods
  • Consuming alcoholic beverages

Hormonal factors

When do you need to see a doctor?

When the symptoms have persisted for a long time, then the patient needs a consultation.


Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

How can nonallergic rhinitis be prevented?

  • Avoid overutilizing nasal sprays
  • Be aware of the risk factors
  • Get treated early

How is nonallergic rhinitis treated?

  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays: Corticosteroid sprays help get rid of nose inflammation.
  • Anticholinergic nasal spray: This nasal spray is used to stabilize the breathing problems in asthma patients. But, it can be used to control a runny nose, as well. It flushes out all the excess fluid from the nose. There are some side effects of this nasal spray like nose bleeding and dryness in the nose.
  • Saline nasal sprays: The saline nasal spray is a simple saltwater solution. It helps maintain nose moisture and cut down mucus.
  • Antihistamine nasal spray: Antihistamine nasal spray helps reduce sneezing, itchy nose and nasal congestion.
  • Decongestants: Decongestants help shrink blood vessels, decrease nose congestion.  The possible side effects of decongestants are high blood pressure and anxiety.

There are lots of supplements available in the market to treat nonallergic rhinitis. A doctor prescribes a supplement as per a patient’s condition.

In some rare cases, patients need nasal surgery to treat complicating problems, such as a deviated nasal septum or persistent nasal polyps.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What is the recovery time?

If nasal inflammation is persisting for more than four weeks, then the patient needs treatment. In this case, a doctor prefers surgery and the approximate recovery time is one month. If nasal inflammation is of shorter duration , the patient can recover with medical  treatment.

Should a patient ignore the treatment?

No, the patient should not ignore nonallergic rhinitis because it can lead to sinus and ear infections.

What are the complications from nonallergic rhinitis?

Verified By Dr Jaswinder Singh Saluja
M.B.B.S., M.S. (ENT), Senior Consultant, ENT and Head & Neck Surgery, Cochlear Implant Programme,
Consultant ENT Surgeon,
Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad
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