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Rhinitis: Treatment, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Dec 05, 2023

What is the Rhinitis?

Rhinitis is a condition wherein the inner membrane or the mucous membrane of the nasal passage is inflamed due to any irritant or virus, bacteria or allergens causing symptoms like runny and blocked nose, post-nasal drip and sneezing. Rhinitis can be grouped into three categories: infectious rhinitis, nonallergic rhinitis and allergic rhinitis. Infectious rhinitis is caused due to a bacterial or viral infection like a common cold caused due to Coronavirus, influenza virus, Rhinovirus, human parainflenza virus, adenovirus, enterovirus and human respiratory syncytial virus. The symptoms of an infectious rhinitis is similar to that of common cold because they are due to common cold and are coupled with cough, soare throat, congestion, sneezing, headache and rhinorrhea. The second type of rhinitis is nonallergic rhinitis which does not occur due to any allergy or infection. So, nonallergic rhinitis can be caused due to exposure to any chemical or may be due to smoking, hormone, it can be gustatory, can be just due to old age or medication induced like rhinitis medicamentosa and idiopathic. Vasomotor rhinitis is caused due to certain changes in the environment like change in temperature or weather or barometric pressure or humidity, can also occur due to spicy foods, some airborne irritants like fumes and odors, emotional factor an even sexual arousal. It is considered that these nonallergic causes of rhinitis dilate the blood vessels in the nasal tract causing inflammation and secretion of mucus. Allergic rhinitis as the name indicates is caused due to irritants and allergens like pollens, dander, dust etc. Treatment of allergic rhinitis may include intranasal corticosteroids and antihistamines. Nonallergic rhinitis can be treated using some over the counter oral decongestants like Sudafed, Afrin, Neo Synephrine etc, and also with nasal sprays either prescribed by doctor or taken over the counter.

How is the Rhinitis treatment done?

Treatment of nonallergic rhinitis include usage of several types of nasal sprays like corticosteroid nasal sprays, saline nasal sprays, anti-drip anticholinergic nasal sprays and antihistamine nasal sprays. Corticosteroid nasal sprays like triamcinolone (Nasacort) or fluticasone (Flonase) are recommended by doctors. Saline nasal sprays can either be bought from the chemist or can also be prepared at home. Saline nasal spray is useful in flushing out and thinning of the mucus, thereby soothing the nasal passages. Anti-cholinergic nasal sprays like Atrovent, a prescription drug ipratropium that is mainly used for the treatment of asthma is also used to treat nonallergic rhinitis nowadays. Prescription antihistamine sprays like olopatadine hydrochloride (Patanase) or azelastine (Astelin, Astepro) are used for treating nonallergic rhinitis. Oral antihistamine medications have not proved to be very effective in improving rhinitis symptoms. Apart from nasal sprays certain oral decongestants like phenylephrine (Afrin, Neo-Synephrine etc.) and pseudoephedrine composition drugs like Sudafed are also used for treating nonallergic rhinitis. These medications narrow down the blood vessels thereby reducing the congestion in the nose. For treating allergic rhinitis over the counter oral antihistamines like cetirizine (Zyrtec), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratidine (Claritin) and fexofenadine (Allegra) are useful. If the patient has a deviated nasal septum or has nasal polyps that are persistent, surgical procedure may be required.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

Anyone suffering from the symptoms of infectious or allergic or nonallergic rhinitis are eligible for receiving the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

People not suffering from the symptoms of rhinitis will not be eligible for the treatment.


Are there any side effects?

Nasal sprays like corticosteroid ones can cause side effects like bleeding nose, dry throat, headaches and nasal dryness. Oral decongestants can have side effects like restlessness, palpitations and high blood pressure.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Guidelines to follow after or along with rhinitis treatment are to keep your nose covered with a handkerchief or a mask, keeping yourself hydrated with lots of fluid intake and eating right food that does not cause allergy or vasodilation etc.

How long does it take to recover?

It takes just a few days, may be 3-4 days to recover completely from rhinitis.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The price of treating rhinitis can range from Rs. 30 to Rs. 1,000 including consultation if required, over-the-counter medication and prescription medication.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Yes the results are permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Some simple home remedies can also be adopted to treat rhinitis instead of taking help of pharmacological options. Home remedies like saline water taken as nasal spray, steam, ginger ale, apple cider vinegar, turmeric mixed with milk, garlic, cloves and basil leaves can help improve the condition.

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Written ByDr. Ashok Mishra MBBSGeneral Physician
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