Rhinitis is the irritation and swelling of the mucous membrane of the nose. There are two main types: allergic rhinitis and nonallergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is caused by a type 1 hypersensitivity reaction that leads to inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes on exposure to certain allergens (e.g., dust, animal dander, mold spores, or plant pollen). Nonallergic rhinitis does not always involve an inflammatory process, and it includes infectious rhinitis, atrophic rhinitis, vasomotor rhinitis, , occupational rhinitis, gustatory rhinitis, hormonal rhinitis, and (NARES). Infectious rhinitis is most often secondary to an upper respiratory tract infection that manifests as . Clinical manifestations of rhinitis include nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, and postnasal drip. Atrophic rhinitis can be primary (idiopathic) or secondary (e.g., due to granulomatous diseases). This form of rhinitis commonly manifests with a foul-smelling, crust-filled nasal cavity and anosmia. Patients with NARES might present with nasal polyposis and hyposmia. Initial management of allergic rhinitis involves allergen and irritant avoidance and pharmacotherapy with intranasal corticosteroids or oral or intranasal antihistamines. Nasal lavage and surgical procedures can relieve symptoms in patients with atrophic and vasomotor rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis is covered in detail separately.
Types of nonallergic rhinitis
|Types of nonallergic rhinitis|
|Nonallergic rhinitis with eosinophilia syndrome (NARES) || |
|Drug-induced rhinitis|| |
|Rhinitis medicamentosa|| || |
|Occupational rhinitis|| |
|Gustatory rhinitis|| |
- Definition: chronic rhinitis associated with atrophy and sclerosis of the nasal mucosa
- Primary atrophic rhinitis (ozaena): an idiopathic condition, which primarily affects middle-aged women in tropical regions (e.g., in India, China, Latin America, the Mediterranean); associated with mucosal colonization with Klebsiella ozaenae 
- Secondary atrophic rhinitis occurs following
- Clinical features
- No specific diagnostic test is indicated.
- Rhinoscopy, nasal cultures, and/or CT scans may be performed to evaluate the extent of the disease.
Treatment: aims to decrease the size and improve the blood flow of the nasal cavities and to promote regeneration and increase lubrication of the dry nasal mucosa but no form of treatment can completely eliminate the symptoms
- Removal of nasal crusts
- Surgical procedures that decrease the volume of the nasal cavity 
- Definition: : a type of nonallergic rhinitis that is caused by an increase in blood flow to the nasal mucosa
- Etiology 
- Clinical features
- Address the underlying cause of rhinitis
- Medical therapy
- Surgical therapy
|Common differential diagnoses of nasal congestion|
|Allergic rhinitis||Nasal polyps||Deviated nasal septum||Adenoid hypertrophy||Foreign nasal body|
|Epidemiology|| || || || || |
|Causes|| || || |
|Onset|| || || || || |
|Clinical features|| |
|Nasal obstruction|| || || || |
|Olfactory function|| || || || || |
For more info on, , , and see their respective articles.
The differential diagnoses listed here are not exhaustive.