What is vasomotor rhinitis?

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Vasomotor rhinitis is characterized by inflamed nasal membranes. Exposure to allergens or irritants can trigger the inflammation. Generally, the condition is not dangerous and those who are affected experience symptoms that can be uncomfortable.

What are the causes?

Vasomotor rhinitis arises if the blood vessels within the nose become dilated or expand. The dilation of the vessels inside the nose results to swelling and leads to congestion. In addition, there is drainage of mucus from the nose.

It is not fully known what triggers the dilation of the blood vessels in the nose. Some of the usual triggers that can initiate this reaction include:

  • Weather changes especially dry weather
  • Exposure to irritants such as odors, perfumes, secondhand smoke or smog
  • Stress
    Viral infections such as those linked with the flu or common cold.
  • Overusing nasal decongestant sprays
  • Viral infections such as those linked with the flu or common cold
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Spicy or hot foods or beverages
  • Drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin, beta-blockers, antidepressants, some sedatives, oral contraceptives and medications for erectile dysfunction
  • Hormonal changes linked with menstruation or pregnancy

What are the signs?

The indications of vasomotor rhinitis generally come and go throughout the year. It might be continuous or last for several weeks.

The usual signs of the condition generally include:

  • Runny or stuffed nose
  • Postnasal drip

Management of vasomotor rhinitis

There are several remedies that are used to manage vasomotor rhinitis such as:

  • Over-the-counter saline nasal sprays
  • Over-the-counter decongestants such as phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine
  • Over-the-counter nasal sprays such as fluticasone

In case the symptoms are severe or if there are side effects from these over-the-counter drugs, the doctor might prescribe other drugs to control the symptoms. The medications given to manage vasomotor rhinitis include:

  • Antihistamine nasal sprays
  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays
  • Anticholinergic nasal sprays

In rare instances, the doctor might suggest surgery to manage the symptoms. The surgical options might be beneficial if there are underlying health issues that worsens the symptoms.


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