Hypersensitivity of the nasal mucosa. Hyperreactive rhinitis is a condition of the nose, with nasal congestion, itching, runny nose, and sneezing, which is not caused by a proven allergy to inhalant allergens.
Hyper-reactivity is the phenomenon of symptoms occurring as a result of non-immunological non-specific stimuli which cause no symptoms or much fewer symptoms in healthy people.
Incentives that play a role are, for example, tobacco and other types of smoke, dust, temperature changes (coming from a warm house into the cold outside air), baking air, paint smell, alcohol, and physical exertion. Other names for hyper-reactive rhinitis are vasomotor rhinitis, non-allergic rhinitis, and idiopathic rhinitis.
Symptoms of hypersensitivity of the nasal mucosa
If you have hyperreactive rhinitis, you have a very common or very prolonged (longer than 4 weeks in a row) nasal cold. Your complaints may consist of a stuffy nose, a runny nose, itching in the nose, and (therefore) sneezing fits. What comes out of your nose with a runny nose is generally thin, clear to white mucus.
These complaints can also be associated with allergic rhinitis or hay fever, for example. Only by examination can it be known with certainty whether you have hyper-reactive rhinitis.
How does hypersensitivity of the nasal mucosa arise?
The cause of hyper-reactive rhinitis is unknown.
Is it serious and what can you expect?
Hyper-reactivity of the nasal mucosa is an annoying complaint. People with hyperreactive rhinitis very often and for a long time suffer from a stuffy nose, runny nose, itching in the nose, and sneezing fits. The cause is unknown, so it cannot be eliminated. So there is no real treatment for it. Your doctor can prescribe medicines to relieve the symptoms. Hyper-reactive rhinitis, although a nuisance, is also a harmless condition that does not lead to serious illness.
When to see the doctor?
If you have symptoms that are consistent with hyperreactive rhinitis, you can visit your doctor to find out whether this is indeed the case. Your doctor cannot perform a test to show hyperreactive rhinitis. However, research can rule out another cause of your complaints, such as an allergy. Once diagnosed, your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid nasal spray to relieve your symptoms. He will then send you back after 4 weeks to discuss the effect of the treatment with you. When treating with corticosteroid-containing medication, it is important to look for the lowest dose that is still effective.
What can you do about it yourself?
If you have been diagnosed with hyperreactive rhinitis, you can try to find out which stimuli are causing your symptoms. It can be useful to keep a complaint diary for this, in which you note when the complaints occur and what possible stimuli are present in the environment at that time. It is important for you not to smoke and to work in a smoke-free environment. A good cooker hood in the kitchen is useful if you find yourself reacting to the smell of baking. If you react to paint smells, you may be able to temporarily stay elsewhere during paint jobs, or at least air the house well. If you suffer from dust, you should take this into account when decorating your home, so that it is easy to keep clean and as dust-free as possible. For example, it is best to have a smooth floor covering that can be mopped. It will probably never be possible to avoid all stimuli completely.
General advice and precautions
- Not smoking is very important
- Dripping with saltwater or steaming can temporarily relieve the symptoms (a scientific effect of this treatment has not been demonstrated)
- Work in a smoke-free area
- Keep your living environment as dust-free as possible
- Keep a complaint diary, so that you can find out which stimuli you are sensitive to
- Make sure your home is sufficiently ventilated during baking or painting
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