Rhinitis, commonly known as a runny nose, is the medical term describing irritation and inflammation of some internal areas of the nose. The primary symptom of rhinitis is nasal dripping. It is caused by chronic or acute inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose due to viruses, bacteria or irritants.
The inflammation results in the generating of excessive amounts of mucus, commonly producing the aforementioned runny nose, as well as nasal congestion and post-nasal drip.
According to recent studies completed in the United States, more than 50 million Americans are current sufferers. Rhinitis has also been found to adversely affect more than just the nose, throat, and eyes.
It has been associated with sleeping problems, ear conditions, and even learning problems. Rhinitis is caused by an increase in histamine. This increase is most often caused by airborne allergens. These allergens may affect an individual's nose, throat, or eyes and cause an increase in fluid production within these areas.
Rhinitis is categorized into three types: infective rhinitis includes acute and chronic bacterial infections; nonallergic (vasomotor) rhinitis includes autonomic, hormonal, drug-induced, atrophic, and gustatory rhinitis, as well as rhinitis medicamentosa; allergic rhinitis, the mic reaction triggered by pollen, mold, animal dander, dust and other similar inhaled allergens.
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Last Updated: Feb 1, 2011