Nose inflammation, also called rhinitis, is caused by infection, illness, injury, or allergies. Treating the underlying reason for inflammation can help prevent the inflammation from returning. Treatments also are available for the inflammation itself.
Symptoms of nose inflammation include sneezing, watery discharge, red eyes, pain in the face, scratchy throat, and headache. Sometimes, the sense of smell is lost. These symptoms may come on suddenly or take several days to develop.
Nose inflammation is labeled as chronic or acute. Chronic nose inflammation is diagnosed when the patient has symptoms for at least an hour each day most of the year. Acute inflammation comes on suddenly and is not experienced year-round.
Severity of inflammation varies with each patient. Some patients have very little irritation, which may come and go. Others have constant symptoms that become severe and interfere with daily life. Finding the cause of inflammation and treating it typically takes care of the problem.
Rhinitis is classified as either allergic or non-allergic. The most common cause of chronic rhinitis is an allergy to dust mites. These mites live in pillows, sheets, carpeting, and other household items. Other common allergies behind nose inflammation are pet allergies and sensitivity to tobacco smoke. Allergy testing can determine the exact culprit.
The first line of nose inflammation treatment is to eliminate exposure to the trigger. For example, if a patient is allergic to perfumes, his or her house should be cleared of all fragrances, including cleansers and soaps that have added aromas. For those sensitive to tobacco smoke, the patient should avoid anyplace where smoking occurs.
If the inflammation continues once allergens are removed, medication is the next line of nose inflammation treatment. Various medications, including allergy medications and antihistamines, can control rhinitis symptoms. Treatment typically takes three to four weeks to reach its full effectiveness.
Nasal spray usually provides fast-acting relief from sneezing, watery eyes, and itching. Too-frequent use of nasal sprays can cause a rebound effect, however, and bring on additional nose inflammation symptoms. Caution should be used when depending on sprays as a primary nose inflammation treatment.
Another nose inflammation treatment is to take allergy and antihistamine pills. The medication typically takes an hour to work. For those with chronic rhinitis, daily medication is recommended. In acute cases, medication is taken when symptoms appear. Antihistamines should not be taken without a doctor's consent if a patient is pregnant.
Steroid nasal spray is obtained through prescription and reduces inflammation in the nose. These sprays have been reported to reduce eye watering and skin itching, which can also occur with rhinitis. Persistent symptoms of nose inflammation should be medically evaluated.