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Encyclopedia > Vasomotor rhinitis

Vasomotor rhinitis is a form of rhinitis that is not related to allergic reactions, but which is characterized by many of the same symptoms, such as a chronic running nose with intermittent sneezing, rhinorrhea and blood-vessel congestion of the nasal mucus membranes. Vasomotor rhinitis is to be distinguished from sinus infection or other forms of allergy. Rhinitis is the medical term describing irritation and inflammation of the nose. ... Medicine In medicine, a persistent and lasting condition is said to be chronic (from Greek chronos). ... A sneeze is the semi-autonomous, convulsive expulsion of air from the nose. ... Mucus is a slippery secretion of the lining of various membranes in the body (mucous membranes). ... This article or section should include material from Net flux A membrane is a thin, typically planar structure or material that separates two environments. ... A sinus is a pouch or cavity in any organ or tissue, or an abnormal cavity or passage caused by the destruction of tissue. ... Infection is also the title of an episode of the television series Babylon 5; see Infection (Babylon 5). ... An allergy or Type I hypersensitivity is a immune malfunction whereby a persons body is hypersensitised to react immunologically to typically nonimmunogenic substances. ...



Vasomotor rhinitis is also known as non-allergenic rhinitis, owing to the fact that it often presents with same symptoms as allergies, but has different causes. Whereas allergenic rhinitis conditions (such as hayfever) are the result of the immune system overreacting to environmental irritants (pollen, etc), vasomotor rhinitis is believed to be caused by oversensitive or excessive blood vessels in the nasal membrane. These blood vessels (which are controlled in turn by the autonomic nervous system) contract or dilate in order to regulate mucus flow and congestion. But in the vasomotor rhinitis sufferer, oversensitive or excessive blood vessels causes an overreaction to such stimuli as changes in weather, temperature, or barometric pressure, chemical irritants such as smoke and aerosol sprays, psychological stress and emotional shocks, certain types of medications, and even spicy food. Thus, while a normal person's nose may run on a very cold day, a vasomotor rhinitis sufferer's nose may start running (or go completely dry) simply by walking into a slightly colder (or slightly warmer) room. While a normal person may tolerate a certain degree of cigarette smoke, the vasomotor rhinitis sufferer may experience significant discomfort from the same level of smoke. The pathology of vasomotor rhinitis is in fact not very well-understood and more research is needed. For the play, see Hay Fever. ... Anatomy and Physiology of the A.N.S. In contrast to the voluntary nervous system, the involuntary or autonomic nervous system is responsible for homeostasis, maintaining a relatively constant internal environment by controlling such involuntary functions as digestion, respiration, and metabolism, and by modulating blood pressure. ...

Many patients can be subject to vasomotor rhinitis and allergic rhinitis simultaneously.


Recurring nasal inflammation, swelling of the nasal membrane or profuse watery nasal discharge might signal vasomotor rhinitis. Swelling of the nasal tissues can cause headaches. Some people start sneezing when walking from a cold air-conditioned room into warmer air. Inflammation is the first response of the immune system to infection or irritation and may be referred to as the innate cascade. ... This article or section should include material from Net flux A membrane is a thin, typically planar structure or material that separates two environments. ...


Vasomotor rhinitis cannot be cured completely but can be brought under a measure of control. Avoidance of the irritants the is most effective method of controlling vasomotor rhinitis (though many irritants, such as weather changes, cannot of course be controlled).

Nasal corticosteroid sprays may be prescribed, and often work well when used regularly. These control inflammation of the nasal tissues. In physiology, corticosteroids are a class of steroid hormones that are produced in the adrenal cortex. ...

The most effective treatment for many people is the use of oral decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine-based pills. However, these often have side-effects such as nervousness and jitteriness, insomnia, hypertension, and so on. (Pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic drug, which means that it simulates the effect of fight-or-flight chemicals, such as adrenaline, in the body.) A trial and error reduction of dosage may alleviate the side-effects while maintaining the effectiveness. Pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic amine commonly used as a decongestant. ... Sympathomimetics are a class of drugs whose properties mimic those of a stimulated sympathetic nervous system. ...

Decongestant nasal sprays (as opposed to oral decongestants) are NOT recommended. These may provide short term relief, but excessive use may result in "rebounding" -- the nasal blood vessels get even more hypersensitive.

Antihistamines may be used in conjunction with nasal corticosteroid sprays. Some research has shown that the topical antihistamine (applied directly to the inside of the nose) azelastine has some effect. An antihistamine is a drug which serves to reduce or eliminate effects mediated by histamine, an endogenous chemical mediator released during allergic reactions, through action at the histamine receptor. ...

A simple home solution is to use nasal salt sprays to regularly irrigate the inside of the nose. (Stir one teaspoon of non-iodised salt into 500 millilitres of boiled or distilled water, and pour into nasal spray dispensers when cool). Salt nasal sprays often have a decongesting effect, and aid with mucus flow.

External links

Vasomotor rhinitis (http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/v/vasomotor_rhinitis/intro.htm) Vasomotor rhinitis at Allergy Healthcare (http://www.allergyhealthcare.com/article%2013.htm) Allergic Diseases Resource Center (http://www.worldallergy.org/professional/allergic_diseases_center/rhinitis/rhinitis_indepth.shtml)

  Results from FactBites:
Vasomotor Rhinitis (333 words)
I was recently diagnosed with vasomotor rhinitis by an allergist.
Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nose ("rhin" meaning nose, as in rhinosceros) which can be divided into a few basic types: infectious (as in a cold), allergic, and vasomotor.
Vasomotor rhinitis is a poorly understood "wastebasket" term for people who have a stuffy or draining nose, but don't have evidence of specific allergies.
  More results at FactBites »



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