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Rhinitis and Nasal Irritation

Rhinitis is just a fancy way of saying irritation of the nose. Most frequently, this irritation results in inflammation. So nasal inflammation is another common way to put it. (Rhin means nose, and itis- means irritation. Therefore, rhinitis is the medical term used to describe your symptoms.)

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There are nearly a dozen different types of Rhinitis! Rhinitis symptoms (sneezing, runny nose, post nasal drip) will be very similar across all the various types of rhinitis. However, the causes can be quite different. See this page for a full list of Rhinitis Symptoms.

Hay fever is just one of the more commonly known causes. And while the causes can be quite different, most of the symptoms and treatments will be similar.

See the table below and look at what causes each type of rhinitis if you are not sure what type of rhinitis you are suffering from. By being aware of when your symptoms occur, this will give you an idea about the source of the problem, and the type of rhinitis you are experiencing. If you already know which type of rhinitis you have, see the page about it to get more information on its specific causes, symptoms and treatments.

Learn More About The Causes And Symptoms of Rhinitis

Type of Rhinitis: Caused By:
Allergic Rhinitis Seasonal Allergens
Acute Rhinitis Allergies, Colds/Viral Infections
Atrophic Rhinitis Infection
Chronic Rhinitis Irritants, Environmental Changes, Weather/Termperature Changes
Gustatory Rhinitis Various Foods, Spicy Foods, or Alcohol
Non-Allergic Rhinitis Irritants, Environmental Changes
Perennial Rhinitis Indoor Allergens, Seasonal Allergens
Pregnancy Rhinitis Pregnancy, Hormonal Changes
Purulent Rhinitis Infection
Rhinitis Medicamentosa Overuse of Nasal Decongestants
Vasomotor Rhinitis Hyperactive Nose, Irritants, Temp. Changes

Additional Problems That Cause Rhinitis (Nasal Irritation)

If you are suffering from irritation of the nose, there are many other conditions that could also be the cause of your irritation other than rhinitis. It's a good idea to be aware of what these are in case they may actually be the cause of your symptoms:

Occurs with Rhinitis

Post Nasal Drip: Is a problem that often accompanies rhinitis (nasal irriation). Post nasal drip is the running of mucous down your nasal passages and down your throat. It can be quite irritating, and causes a lot of sniffling, mucous, and flem.

Seasonal Allergies: Seasonal allergies, also called Hay Fever is one of the more common types of nasal irritation. In fact, allergic rhinitis and seasonal allergies are one in the same! Anyone who suffers from rhinitis is also likely have allergies and suffer from other types of rhinitis, including types not caused by airborne allergens.

Non-allergic Cuases of Irritation

Sinus Infection: A viral infection is another common cause of rhinitis. Common colds typically last a week and go away on their own, but they can develop in to a much more severe sinus infection. This can occur when your typical rhinitis or allergy symptoms interfere with the drainage of mucous from your sinuses. When the mucous backs up, an infection of the sinuses is likely to occur.

Mistaken For Allergies

Nasal Polyps: Nasal polyps are small, soft outgrowths from the lining of the nose that look like a bulb or polyp. Polyps are completely harmless, but can be of concern when they block the nasal passages. They are likely to make breathing through your nose difficult. Nasal Polyps can occur in healthy people, but they are most frequently found in those suffering from rhinitis.