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Chronic Rhinitis

Downtown ENT: B. Thuy Le, MD

Otolaryngologist located in New York, NY

If you have a persistent stuffy or runny nose (rhinorrhea) that can be year-round and worse in cold air, while eating hot or spicy foods and happens even when you are not having allergies, you could have chronic rhinitis and even vasomotor rhinitis. At Downtown ENT, in SoHo, Manhattan, B. Thuy Le, MD, diagnoses the conditions that cause chronic rhinitis and offers expert treatments to relieve your symptoms and restore your health. Call the New York City office or schedule a consultation online today.

Chronic Rhinitis Q&A

What is chronic rhinitis?

 Chronic rhinitis can be a state of chronic inflammation of the nasal lining or chronic over activity of the normal functions.  Your nasal cavity and sinuses are lined with mucous membranes which produce mucus with healthy proteins to protect the area.  The lining also swells and shrinks to provide several functions such as regulating airflow, humidity and temperature.  When that balance of mucus and congestion is disturbed, you may develop symptoms like congestion and runny nose or post-nasal drip.

Some of the signs of chronic rhinitis include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Mucus drip into your throat (post-nasal drip)
  • Trouble breathing through your nose

Your symptoms might feel worse in cold air, while exercising, with certain foods and while lying down.  If you have allergies, that usually worsens it as well.

What causes chronic rhinitis?

Various conditions can cause chronic rhinitis, or it may be its own diagnosis or related to several other causes.  Allergies can start up or prolong chronic rhinitis.  It may set in after a respiratory infection and not clear up.  You might also have chronic rhinitis because of a deviated septum or nasal polyps that can interfere with normal mucus drainage and congestion.  Vasomotor rhinitis is when the nerve that regulates the congestion and mucus is overactive in certain situations like cold air and eating or during exercise.  Sometimes chronic rhinitis is the problem without an underlying cause, and it is important to check.

Other causes of chronic rhinitis, include:

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Sinusitis
  • Cold temperatures or changes in weather

Spicy foods, dry air, and medications can also trigger post-nasal drip.  This type of drip is called vasomotor rhinitis and has an effective new treatment.

When should I talk to a doctor about chronic rhinitis?

You should contact Dr. Le at Downtown ENT for an appointment if you have chronic rhinitis for more than 14 days. 

Dr. Le offers a thorough exam to identify the condition causing your chronic rhinitis. If necessary, she uses a specialized scope to examine the inside of your nasal cavities.

How is chronic rhinitis treated?

Dr. Le provides personalized treatments to address the cause of your chronic rhinitis. For example, if allergies are the root cause of your symptoms, she can prescribe medication, lifestyle changes, or immunotherapy to manage your condition. 

However, if your chronic rhinitis is due to a structural abnormality like a deviated septum and enlarged nasal turbinates, Dr. Le can perform surgery to correct the structures to allow correct drainage and function. 

For chronic rhinitis, vasomotor rhinitis, allergic rhinitis, and rhinorrhea, she can perform a procedure called ClariFix, which is a 30-second cryotherapy (cold/freezing therapy), sometimes right in the office.  There is a radiofrequency method called Neuromark which takes a few minutes and also may be done in the office.

If you’re troubled by chronic rhinitis, call Downtown ENT or schedule an appointment online today.