Rhinitis is a type of inflammation that affects membranes inside the nose. This common condition occurs when blood vessels inside the nose expand/dilate. Although the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis overlap significantly, the causes are entirely different. Another name for this condition is idiopathic rhinitis. It is not a life-threatening condition. Although the symptoms are uncomfortable, they are not life-threatening
While allergic rhinitis is caused by an immune reaction in the nose, vasomotor rhinitis, on the other hand, occurs when a nerve ending reacts inside the nose causing painful symptoms. In this case, the offending substance is referred to as an irritant.
Common irritants include
- Irritants present in the environment such as smog, second-hand smoke, perfumes and odors
- Weather changes particularly in dry weather
- Viral infections such as those affiliated with the flu or cold
- Spicy and hot drinks or foods
- Overusing nasal decongestant sprays
- The aroma of particular trees and flowers can act as an irritant
- Medications such as oral contraceptives, certain sedatives, ibuprofen (Motril, Advil), aspirin (Bayer), antidepressants and most drugs used in the treatment of erectile dysfunction.
- Hormonal changes associated with menstruation and pregnancy
Symptoms of Vasomotor Rhinitis
Persons who develop this condition typically showcase the following symptoms:
- A runny nose
- Stuffy nose
- Mucus in the throat
The most bothersome symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis include sinus headaches, nasal congestion, and postnasal drip. These symptoms come and go throughout the year. Vasomotor Rhinitis does not cause any form of itchiness; an itchy nose, scratchy throat and watery itchy eyes are caused by an allergy.
How is idiopathic rhinitis/ vasomotor rhinitis diagnosed?
This condition is diagnosed after ruling out other causes of the symptoms you are experiencing. If the doctor suspects that you are suffering from this kind of rhinitis they will first perform tests to ascertain that the cause of your symptoms is not an allergy or any other health problem that causes similar symptoms such as a sinus problems
Ruling out allergic causes
In most cases, Rhinitis is caused by an allergic reaction. To rule out a possibility that the symptoms you are presenting are caused by allergens a doctor will either carry out a skin or blood test. Since an allergy affects the immune system, a blood test can be done to ascertain whether this important system is functioning normally.
Ruling out sinus issues
If a doctor suspects that your symptoms are caused by a sinus problem, an imaging test that helps view sinuses is performed. This can either be a nasal endoscopy or a CT (Computerized Tomography) scan. Using an endoscope (a thin fiber-optic instrument), a doctor will be able to examine sinuses and the nasal passages. The CT scan is better because it produces more detailed images of the sinuses than what a conventional X-ray machine. When a doctor is sure there is no other underlying cause for the showcased symptoms, they make a diagnosis 0f Idiopathic rhinitis.
Vasomotor Rhinitis Cure
This condition cannot be cured but can be controlled and prevented from occurring in the first place. Treatment will depend on how much the symptoms bother an afflicted person. For mild cases, avoiding triggers and using home treatments will suffice. However, for more bothersome symptoms, there are particular medications that can offer relief including:
Saline nasal sprays
This over-the-counter nasal spray will help flush out irritants and thin mucus to help soothe nose membranes.
Corticosteroid nasal spray
If symptoms are not easily controlled using antihistamines and decongestants, a doctor may suggest using a non-prescription corticosteroid nasal spray like Nasacort (triamcinolone) and Flonase (fluticasone). This type of medication helps in both prevention and treatment of inflammations associated with vasomotor rhinitis.
Antihistamine nasal spray
Oral antihistamines are not very effective in controlling symptoms of this condition. On the other prescription antihistamine nasal sprays, such olopatadine hydrochloride (Patanase) and azelastine (Astelin, Astepro) can help reduce symptoms considerably.
Anti-drip anticholinergic nasal sprays
Ipratropium (Atrovent) is a prescription drug typically used as an asthma inhaler. It is now available as a nasal spray that can help relieve two main symptoms; runny and drippy nose.
These are available either through prescription or over-the-counter. They help relieve symptoms by narrowing blood vessels in the nose and reducing nasal congestion. Common oral decongestants used to control vasomotor rhinitis symptoms include; phenylephrine (Afrin, Neo-Synephrine, Sudafed, and others.
Vasomotor Rhinitis Natural Treatment
When the symptoms are mild most doctors recommend home treatments which have no side effects and this include:
This is a plant-based enzyme that is available at health food stores. It is believed to possess potent anti-inflammatory properties. 200 to 400 milligrams taken on an empty thrice a day will help reduce inflammation of the nasal membranes.
Adding Cayenne to food
Simply add a pinch of cayenne pepper to your food. This kind of natural pepper is rich in capsaicin which helps control vasomotor rhinitis by stimulating nerve fibers of sinuses.
Include garlic in your food
Garlic can help because it helps mucous less sticky promoting its flow rather than building up in the nose and increasing inflammation.
Use a Neti Pot
This is a device specifically designed to help flush out sinuses. It is readily available in drug stores. Most neti pots come with a nasal flushing solution. Alternatively, you can prepare one on your own using 2 cups, 1 teaspoon of non-iodised salt and a pinch of baking soda. Using this device is easy; tilt your head to one side then pour the solution into one nostril. Repeat the same procedure on the other nostril
Clear sinuses using lemon and horseradish root
Juice 2 horseradish root and three lemons and only drink half of a teaspoon daily. This solution can be stored in a refrigerator.
Steam and Eucalyptus essential oil
Add 4 to 6 drops of Eucalyptus essential oil in a steam bath. When combined with steam, this highly potent essential oil not only soothes irritated nasal passages but also helps in clearing nasal congestion.