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How does nonallergic rhinitis differ from allergic rhinitis?

How does nonallergic rhinitis differ from allergic rhinitis?

English Transcript

Allergist Farah Khan, MD: So let’s define rhinitis. Rhinitis is basically a generic term to help describe inflammation in your nose. You can have non-allergic triggers, and you can have allergic triggers. The allergic triggers is what most people think of, and they usually have symptoms like runny nose, congestion, sneezing. But those patients also have usually eye symptoms, like itchy and watery eyes, and they usually respond to antihistamines, like Zyrtek and Allegra.

However, non-allergic rhinitis patients don’t have the same triggers, even though the symptoms can seem the same. And it’s really important to help differentiate that by talking to a local allergist, because then we can figure out do you need to be on antihistamines and other medications to help with the allergic rinitis or do you really just need to be on a really good nasal and sinus regimen that can include sinus rinses and nasal steroids?

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