There are an estimated 103 million people in the United States suffering from some form of rhinitis. Whether chronic, acute, allergic, nonallergic, or mixed – that’s a lot of people struggling with congestion, coughs, headaches, and other uncomfortable symptoms. You don’t have to be one of them! You have South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center on your side. Learn about the different types of rhinitis and your chronic rhinitis treatment options, below.
What is Chronic Rhinitis?
Rhinitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes inside your sinuses. There are various causes, including allergens, bacteria, infections, and co-occurring disorders like sinusitis. The cause of rhinitis determines how it’s classified medically. Chronic means that your rhinitis has lasted for an extended period, generally more than a month. There is also acute rhinitis, which lasts for several days or weeks.
So, what is chronic rhinitis? It’s a frustrating, uncomfortable disorder characterized by symptoms including:
- Runny nose and sneezing
- Watery eyes
- Sore throat and coughing
- Dark circles under your eyes
Allergic vs Nonallergic Rhinitis
Not all rhinitis is the same. For example, there is a difference between chronic allergic rhinitis and nonallergic rhinitis. The difference is what triggers your body’s response in the first place. Chronic allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens and occurs when your immune system overreacts to their presence. It’s commonly known as hay fever. Nonallergic rhinitis, on the other hand, is caused by any number of factors, including infection, air pollutants, certain medications, hormone-related changes, and even stress.
It’s crucial to pinpoint the type of rhinitis you’re suffering from. We recommend allergy testing to determine whether you have chronic allergic rhinitis or not. If you do, there are a number of innovative chronic rhinitis treatments designed to help you start feeling better. Things are a bit more complicated if you have a nonallergic form of rhinitis (vasomotor rhinitis, for example), though many treatments are still incredibly effective at relieving symptoms.
Chronic Rhinitis Treatment Options
Breakthroughs in medical research and technology have led to some exciting new treatment options – specifically ClariFix cooling and oral mucosal immunotherapy.
ClariFix Cooling is what’s known as cryotherapy or localized freezing. It works by inserting a small Clarifix balloon into the back of your nasal cavity, right next to a cluster of nerves that are “overreacting” and causing your chronic allergic rhinitis. The balloon is then cooled and freezes both the nerves and surrounding tissue. The entire procedure is performed in-office under local anesthesia, which makes it comfortable and minimizes any pain.
The best part about ClariFix Cooling is that it takes as little as five minutes to perform and provides long-lasting relief!
Oral mucosal immunotherapy (often shortened to OMIT) is another innovative chronic rhinitis treatment that uses specially formulated toothpaste. It’s similar to subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) in that it uses tiny amounts of allergens to help your body build immunity and reduce chronic allergic rhinitis symptoms. OMIT does this without the need for injections, though, and is much more convenient.
If you’re sick and tired of chronic rhinitis, South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center is here to help. Our team of talented medical professionals is led by Dr. Lee Mandel, an internationally renowned otolaryngologist and one of the only Rhinologists in South Florida. Call us today at (954) 983-1211 or request an appointment online!