Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What Is the Difference Between Chronic Rhinitis and Allergic Rhinitis?

The term "rhinitis" refers to an infection or inflammation of the mucus membrane in the nose. Chronic rhinitis and allergic rhinitis both create misery in the nasal cavity and block airways. However, they are different conditions, with different causes and, therefore, different treatments. Here's an overview of both to help you understand which might apply to your situation.

Chronic Rhinitis

Chronic rhinitis is also referred to as chronic sinusitis. It is commonly associated with an infection in the mucus membranes of the paranasal sinuses. The infection can be caused by a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection that causes inflammation. In other cases, a nasal polyps (growths in the sinuses) or a deviated septum can be the catalyst.

Sufferers often experience facial pain and pressure, nasal stuffiness or nasal mucus discharge, a temporary loss of smell as well as coughing and congestion. Other symptoms may include halitosis (bad breath), fatigue, and even dental pain. More severe symptoms include facial puffiness, nasal obstruction or blockage, pus in the naval cavity, discolored postnasal drainage, and headaches.

Chronic sinusitis can last 12 weeks or more and will often reoccur in patients (hence "chronic"). Underlying inflammatory disease may be a factor. Often patients have a history of upper respiratory infections.
It should be noted that "acute" sinusitis shares the same symptoms as chronic sinusitis. However, it generally only lasts 4 weeks and is not found to return periodically as is with chronic sinusitis.

Allergic Rhinitis 

A simple way to define allergic rhinitis is "allergies." The cause is due to allergens in the air such as pollen or pet dander that are inhaled. The introduction of the allergen to the body causes production of antibody immunoglobulin E(IgE) that binds to cells containing histamine.

Here an infection of the nasal airways leads to sniffling, sneezing, watery eyes, itching, and nasal mucus. Besides the nasal passages, eyes and even ears can become swollen. Sufferers can also experience rashes and hives.

Symptoms are due to exposure to an allergen and often are seasonal or perennial. Mild intermittent allergic rhinitis is when the symptoms last less than four days a week for no more than four weeks at a time. Severe to persistent allergic rhinitis is when symptoms last more than four days a week for more than four consecutive weeks. Levels of severity are determined by how disruptive the symptoms are to sleep and normal activities.

Treatments for either chronic rhinitis or allergic rhinitis will differ based on the particular causes and symptoms experienced by the patient. If you've tried OTC or home remedies and symptoms persist, it is best to see a specialist. A professional can recommend sinus treatments or Atlanta allergy treatments that are best suited for your individual needs.

Sinus Center of Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stefano_Grossi

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