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Rhinitis Specialist

Richard Ruiz, MD

Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgeon located in Temecula, CA

Whether rhinitis quickly runs its course or turns into a chronic condition, its characteristic nasal inflammation causes enough congestion to make you miserable. Richard Ruiz M.D., Inc. has years of experience identifying the underlying cause of your stuffy nose and providing treatment that relieves your symptoms. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Temecula, California, or use the online booking tool.

Rhinitis Q & A

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What causes rhinitis?

Rhinitis occurs when the mucous membranes inside your nose become inflamed. There are two types of rhinitis: allergic and nonallergic. You can have one or both types at the same time.

Allergic rhinitis

You may know allergic rhinitis by its common name: hay fever. With this type of rhinitis, your nasal symptoms are caused by an allergy, which occurs when your immune system overreacts to airborne substances such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and pet dander.

Nonallergic rhinitis

When most patients mention rhinitis, they’re referring to nonallergic rhinitis, which is caused by a viral infection. Although many different viruses may be to blame, nonallergic rhinitis often arises from a common cold. In some cases, a bacterial infection also develops.

When you have nonallergic rhinitis, you’re also at risk for developing sinusitis, or inflamed and infected sinuses.

What are the different types of nonallergic rhinitis?

There are three types of nonallergic rhinitis:

  • Atrophic rhinitis: occurs in older adults when the mucous membranes become thin
  • Vasomotor rhinitis: similar to allergic rhinitis, except you don’t have allergies
  • Chronic rhinitis: develops when your nasal inflammation lasts longer than 12 weeks

Atrophic rhinitis primarily affects older adults, while vasomotor rhinitis seems to be triggered by a dry environment. Chronic rhinitis is one of the most common health problems that Dr. Ruiz treats.

What are the symptoms of rhinitis?

Whether you have allergic or nonallergic rhinitis, your symptoms may last all year or come and go. Both types cause symptoms such as:

  • Congestion
  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • A cough
  • Fatigue

When you have nonallergic rhinitis, you may also develop a low-grade fever, phlegm in your throat, and postnasal drip. Allergic rhinitis is notorious for causing watery eyes and an itchy nose, eyes, or throat.

How is rhinitis treated?

The first line of treatment is medication, such as decongestants, antihistamines, and steroid sprays, to provide symptom relief.

If you have allergic rhinitis, allergy testing can reveal the specific substances causing your condition and Dr. Ruiz can recommend lifestyle changes to limit your exposure to these allergens. He may also recommend immunotherapy to desensitize your immune system.

If you suffer from ongoing congestion or other rhinitis symptoms, call Richard Ruiz M.D., Inc. or book an appointment online.