It is estimated that 19 million people in the US suffer from nonallergic rhinitis. Oftentimes, nonallergic rhinitis occurs along with allergies. People with allergic rhinitis (which is sometimes called hay fever) may suffer symptoms year-round or seasonally. This is caused by allergic sensitivity to pollen, mold spores, dust mites, animal dander, and more.
Chronic Rhinitis Treatment
Rhinitis, or inflammation of the nose, comes with uncomfortable symptoms including rhinitis sinusitis. Chronic rhinitis symptoms can include:
· Runny nose
· Nasal itching
Oftentimes, those who suffer from chronic rhinitis experience post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip is an accumulation of mucus in the back of the nose and throat. This mucus drips down from the back of the nose and results in a sore throat, cough, or excessive throat clearing.
Treatments for rhinitis often depends on the cause. Rhinitis causes include:
· Pollens from grasses, weeds, or trees
· Airborne mold spores
· Animal dander
· Dust mites in the home
· Underlying or hidden food allergies (though very rare)
After it is diagnosed, the treatment options for rhinitis are avoiding known allergens, over-the-counter and prescription medications and nasal sprays, and nasal passage irrigation. Surgery is generally a last resort if structural issues in the sinuses are what causes the rhinitis symptoms.
Freezing Nasal Linings
Sometimes, however, these treatments do not work to treat a chronic runny nose. If this is the case, you might be a candidate for a procedure called intranasal cryotherapy. This might be a good option if the main treatments such as nasal sprays and medications are inadequate and if the rhinitis sufferer does not want to be on nasal sprays every day.
In intranasal cryotherapy, some of the nerve fibers in the back of the nose are frozen. Sometimes, a runny nose can be caused when these nerves are overactive, which can cause the tissue lining the nose to produce too much mucus. This is generally an outpatient procedure and is less invasive than other surgical options.
Most often, this procedure is performed right in the office. If you opt for this procedure, here is what you can expect.
1. A numbing solution will be applied in the nose to ensure patient comfort.
2. An endoscope and the device that will administer the cold therapy are placed into the back of the nose where the overactive nerves are located. The endoscope allows the doctor to see deep into your nose.
3. Through the device, the freezing chemical is applied. It is applied through a small balloon on the tip of the device.
4. The balloon is pressed against the nasal tissue containing the overactive nerves. When this happens, you might feel a bit of uncomfortable pressure and a cooling sensation, but it should not be painful for the patient.
5. When the cold temperature hits the overactive nerves, the nerves are disrupted. This is how runny nose symptoms are reduced. Your doctor will not disrupt all the nerves since that could lead to an overly dry nose.
The treatment should only take a few minutes, and most patients recover very quickly. While the tissues heal, patients might experience some increased congestion or a runny nose, but most see improvements in rhinitis within a few weeks.
If you suffer from chronic rhinitis and think you might be a candidate for this procedure, talk to your doctor today about your options.