Non-allergic rhinitisis inflammation of the inside of the nose that is n't caused by an allergy.

Rhinitis caused by an allergen, such as pollen,is a separate condition known as Rhinitis, allergic .

Symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis can include:

  • a blocked nose
  • a runny nosethis may be throughthe nostrils or down the back of the nose ( catarrh )
  • sneezing although this is generally less severe than in allergic rhinitis
  • mild irritation or discomfort in and around your nose
  • reduced sense of smell

In rare cases, non-allergic rhinitis can also cause a crust to develop inside the nose, which may:

  • produce a foul-smelling odour
  • cause bleeding if you try to remove it

When to see your GP

You should see your GP if you have symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis and the condition is affecting your quality of life.

Non-allergic rhinitis can be difficult to diagnose, as thereisno test to confirm the condition. Your GP will first ask about your symptoms and medical history.

They may then carry out a blood test to check if you have an allergy , or they may refer you to a hospital clinic for more specific tests for allergies, including a "skin prick test".

If the test results suggest you don't have an allergy, you may be diagnosed with non-allergic rhinitis.

External factors include:

  • viral infections, such as a cold these attack the lining of the nose and throat
  • environmental factorssuch as extreme temperatures, humidity or exposure to noxious fumes, such as smoke

Internal factors include:

  • hormone imbalancessuch as those that occurduringpregnancy or puberty
  • hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or hormonal contraception

The best treatment option depends on how severe the condition is and what's causing it.

In some cases, avoiding certain triggers and undertaking self care measures, like rinsing your nasal passages, may relieve your symptoms. Thiscan be done using either a homemade solution or a solution made with sachets of ingredients bought from a pharmacy.

In other cases, medication may be needed, such as a nasal spray containing corticosteroids . These will help to relieve the congestion, but usually need to be used over a number of weeks to befully effective.

Before taking any medication for non-allergic rhinitis, always check the leaflet that comes withit, as these treatmentsaren't suitable for everyone. If you're at all uncertain whether you should be using one of these medications, check with your GP or pharmacist.

These include:

  • nasal polyps abnormal, but non-cancerous (benign)sacs of fluid that grow inside the nasal passages and sinuses
  • sinusitis an infection caused by nasal inflammation and swelling that prevents mucus draining from the sinuses
  • middle ear infections infection of part of the ear located directly behind the eardrum

These problems can often be treated with medication, although surgery is sometimes needed in severe or long-term cases.


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 4 Jan 2017