Rhinitis is a condition that involves the inflammation and irritation of the inner nasal lining and is characterized by runny nose, nasal congestion and postnasal drip. This is due to excess mucus produced by the nose's mucous membrane. While this is a condition that principally affects the nasal lining, it can also affect the eyes, ears and throat.
There are three types of rhinitis: allergic, nonallergic and infective.
Allergic rhinitis is triggered by allergens like dust, smog, fumes and even pets. Changes in weather or temperature also trigger and inflame the mucous membrane in the nose, causing it to swell and start a runny or stuffy nose.
Nonallergic rhinitis sets off when the blood vessels in the nose dilate and expand, causing the nasal lining to be filled with fluid. This abnormal expansion and inflammation occurs when exposed to environmental or occupational pollutants, weather changes, hormonal changes, stress or the use of certain medications.
Infective rhinitis may be caused by bacterial infection.
One of the common symptoms of rhinitis is runny or clogged nose as well as sneezing. Some people with rhinitis often experience these symptoms after eating foods that are spicy or that contain preservatives. Certain hot or cold foods also trigger rhinitis. Sneezing and runny nose are sometimes accompanied by clear and watery nasal discharge.
The cure for rhinitis usually depends on the triggers of its symptom. For instance, if the rhinitis was triggered by cold temperature, the ideal remedy would be its opposite — warm or hot temperature. Over-the-counter medications like antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids and mucolytics lower the intensity of the rhinitis.