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Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

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Old 12-13-2004, 04:47 PM   #1
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Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?


I've been told that I have allergic rhinitis and believe that it is chronic as it never goes away. I have been prescribed a steriod nasal spray but this doesn't seem to be working.

Does anyone else suffer from severe rhinitis to the point where they suffer constant nasal congestion and post-nasal drip. I'm interested to hear about how other people deal with their problem. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Also, has anyone successfully rid themselves of rhinitis permanently? I'm wondering if i am going to be stuck with this forever.

Many Thanks.

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Old 12-13-2004, 08:28 PM   #2
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

Well, it depends on the I won't be congested *constantly* but more like for a couple days straight, then it'll go away for a while. Usually, when I'm super congested I take my Claritin and some Sudafed, hot shower, etc...and I'm OK. Try that.

Old 12-14-2004, 12:34 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

I also have chronic rhinitis, and have had surgury to remove nasal polyps three times.
In my experience, when they say chronic, they mean chronic. I have used a bunch of sprays - most often Flonase, but also Nasonex and Nasocort. I found the Nasocort turbuhaler most effect. It is a powder form, and didn't leave me with the feeling of increased congestions the sprays did.
Also, I was on singulair, which for some reasonhelped my sinuses - I don't recall if I was on it for that or for my asthma, but it helped.
My advice is to go to a proper ear, nose & throat doc and get her advice. My reg doc recommended it, and he was right.
Also, remember that it takes the steroid spray awhile to take effect. However, stay off prednisone unless absolutely necessary.

Old 12-15-2004, 10:17 AM   #4
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

I've posted this elsewhere, but I think it will help you.

When you use a steroid spray you must use it regularly. For most people this is everyday, but some can use it every other day. What you absolutely should not do, is "save" it for when you feel you are getting an infection. I used to use it incosistantly also, and then complain it didn't work. When I was referred to the allergist, he set me straight:

Steroid nasal sprays work best as preventative medicine. It does not work as well when you are all stuffed up. It's like putting "oil on water." If you are all stuffed up, the spray just sits on top of the mucus, and never reaches the nasal tissue. It is in these situations that a small amount of steroid can get absorbed in your system if you have PND and it runs down your throat.

When I was first prescribed Flonase my doctor told me to use Afrin & Sudaphed 24 hours before starting the Flonase. Then each time I used Flonase I had to first use a saline nose spray (Entsol) and blow my nose. Then putting my chin to my chest and looking at the floor, spray one squirt of Flonase. When spraying, I was told to think of aiming it toward my ear. Then I was to wait 2-3 minutes, brush my teeth, or whatever. Then spray the second squirt. This allows the first squirt to start working, and help the second squirt get further up your nose. If you choose, you can irrigate instead of using the saline spray.

Also, in your case, I would continue taking the Sudaphed until the Flonase seems to have started working. You can use Afrin at the same time, but you absolutely should not use Afrin for more than 3 days in a row. Also, I've discovered this system works best if done right after a nice hot shower.

I am a lot like you. I have year round chronic rhinitis. It can take a full week or 2 before the nosespray takes full effect. Don't give up!

Old 12-15-2004, 10:17 AM   #5
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

Oops! multiple post!

Last edited by sneezydiva; 12-15-2004 at 10:21 AM. Reason: multiple post

Old 12-15-2004, 03:46 PM   #6
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

wow, thanks for the replies, they are a big help.

sneezydiva, i will take into account your info when taking my nasal spray now, thanks, its a new approach that i will try.

I suffer particularly from PND as a result of my rhinitis along with being stuffed up (usually only in 1 nostril at a time though, which changes regularly).

I have a couple more questions if you can help.

You say that the spray takes 1-2 weeks before you feel the effects, but how long do you have to continue using it? and how long does that keep the rhinitis away?

I am right in thinking that there are no permanent solutions to treat rhinitis and that i'm going to have to continue using the decongestants and steroid sprays forever.

Thanks again.

Old 12-15-2004, 04:51 PM   #7
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

Originally Posted by Diggler
I am right in thinking that there are no permanent solutions to treat rhinitis and that i'm going to have to continue using the decongestants and steroid sprays forever.
I used to have awful sinuses. I originally went to an ENT, and he told me I needed surgery for a deviated septum and a cyst in one of my sinuses. I had the surgery, and felt great for six months. Then the sinus problems came back full blast. Went back to the ENT. He told me that I had allergic rhinitis and had to see an allergist. I always wondered why he didn't send me to the allergist to begin with.

Went to the allergist and had a series of allergy shots lasting for about a year. During that time, my sinuses got better but my asthma, which was dormant for a couple of years, came back. The allergy shots were clear when I started getting them, and were getting very dark. I stopped getting the shots when they started making my heart race right after getting the injection.

So....... my sinuses were better, but still gave me problems, and now I was suffering from asthma.

I then had about three acupuncture treatments for my allergic rhinitis. At the time they didn't seem to help.

My asthma was getting worse. I noticed that, if I lied down on the carpet, I would automatically start to wheeze, so we tore out ALL of our wall to wall carpeting. I experienced a significant improvement in my asthma.

Then I noticed that, if I lied down on our upholstered couch, I started to wheeze, so we replaced our upholstered furniture with leather-type furniture. That also made a big difference in my asthma. During all of this time, I tried to avoid foods that clogged up my sinuses, we kept our windows closed, and we kept our place as dust free as possible. At that point my asthma was under control, more or less, but my sinuses were still a problem. For one thing, I was getting frequent sinus infections.

I was on antibiotics several times per year for many years. In between infections my sinuses were still better than they had been, but they would still clog up, sometimes seemingly for no reason. Many nights I would toss and turn, switching from side to side to alternately unclog one side of my nose.

A little over three years ago, I started flooding my sinuses with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and kosher salt. That stopped my sinus infections, made my sinuses function much better, but still left me with sinuses that would clog up. Most of this time, I was also on a corticosteriod nasal spray.

I purchased an acupuncture machine, shaved my head, and gave myself a series of sinus-related electro-acupuncture treatments (no needles), mostly to the top of my shaved head. Since then my sinuses have really been great. No more sinus problems. After decades of sinus misery, my sinuses are wide open almost all of the time, and they have been this way for about 13 months.

I still stay away from foods that used to cause me sinus problems and/or asthma, so it is possible that my allergic rhinitis is just waiting for me to make a mistake. I was on corticosteriod nasal sprays for years. I am now totally off nasal sprays or any other sinus meds. I do take a minimal dose of one asthma corticosteriod spray, twice a day, to protect against asthma.

Why did I post this long, boring note? Well......... I was able to get rid of my sinus problems. You asked if anyone has ever done it. I did it, but it took many steps, and some novel treatments.

Regards, and best of luck and health to you.

Old 12-15-2004, 10:20 PM   #8
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

You are right, you will have to keep using the spray to keep the congestion from returning. Some people once they get cleared up, use it only every other day, but unfortunately you must use it regularly to stay clear. Once the steroid spray starts working, you might not need the decongestants everyday. If you start irrigating your sinuses plus use the Flonase, I can almost guarentee you won't have to take decongestants most of the time.

BTW were you prescribed an antihistimine? Do you have any idea what you are allergic to? The most important thing in getting rid of sinus/allergy problems is to eliminate the allergens in your enviornment. Since you have year-round rhinitis, you are probably allergic to dustmites. Getting dustmite covers for your bed would be a good place to start.

I have mostly solved my problems through eliminating allergens in my home, nasal irrigation, allergy shots, and medications. As the allergy shots progress, I am hopeful to eliminate most of my medications. I already have eliminated my daily decongestant habit. I've actually been prescribed double the normal dose of Flonase. I am hopeful that I can soon reduce it to the normal dose.

Last edited by sneezydiva; 12-15-2004 at 10:27 PM.

Old 12-16-2004, 05:28 AM   #9
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

Thanks for the info.

I was prescribed an anti-histamine a while back because of hay-fever, which i use in the summer. I might give it a try now to see if it helps.

I think you are probably right about the dust mites and i'll look into getting some covers.

The main problem I suffer because my rhinitis (apart from it being uncomforatable) is that i get quite bad post-nasal drip. I believe that this is causing me to have bad breath and is the reason why i've decided to really try and combat my rhinitis.

I think i will go and have a chat with my doctor to see if i can be referred to a specialist to see if they can do some tests on me to find out where the problem lies.

Thanks for all your help sneezydiva.

Old 12-18-2004, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

Welcome to my life.

You must use the steroid spray daily. I have a friend whose allergies are so mild, she only needs the steroid spray to do better. For me, I need several medications in combination. Let your doctor know the steroid spray isn't giving you enough relief.

Good luck.

Old 12-23-2004, 09:08 AM   #11
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

I have Chronic rhinitis and am reading Dr. Kennedy's book from the U of Pa. I have just started the book and am finding it interesting. I have had two surgeries for the sinuses. The last surgery was at the U of PA and the first was done locally. I would like to tell you that the surgeries have helped, but I am not certain they have. I developed sinus problems two years after the first surgery and this time it is only 4 months. In truth, though I was not irrigating as I should have so it may be my fault.

The first surgery was done as an emergency because I developed a staph infection and the last surgery was done because of chronic sinus infections. I just had it done in August though and went to the allergist yesterday for medication because I have a SINUS INFECTION! I am really tired of the steriod and antibiotic routine. I think the steroids are destroying my bones.

Old 12-26-2004, 08:52 AM   #12
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Re: Chronic Rhinitis - How do I deal with it?

Hi 'Diggler', I was first dx with allergic rhinitis. I was so badly congested and couldn't breathe thru my nose, eating and doing stuffs made me tired easily. I started on the nasal steroid sprays. Then a few months later, mucus start dripping everyday, PND, and other symptoms... it seems to be getting worse and not better. My rhinitis was so severe that the nasal passages were nearly completely closed up regardless of medications. Later, I was told it was vasomotor rhinitis instead... and so I changed medications again and again but it just didn't improve my condition. I have tried oral decongestants, steroid sprays, antihistamines...etc and even the nasal decongestant spray which work well b4 was not working so well for me anymore. I needed more sprays but nasal spray decongestants are not for constant use...

The ENTs said that my condition wasn't going to improve on medications as they have tried all sorts and none helped... after they suggested surgery abt 3 times to me... I guess it was the only way. It wasn't easy at first... I have lots of second thoughts about having the surgery. Up to the day that I'm gonna go for my operation, I was still having 2nd thoughts...

I felt real horrible after surgery and the road to recovery was slow as I had some complications. But now, I can Breathe much better!!! My right nose is still not that good as air doesn't seem to flow as smoothly as the left but I can feel the difference after and before surgery.

Since you have allergic rhinitis, the first step to help yourself is to avoid the stuffs that you are allergic to. Then take your medications regularly eventhough you think you are better. All the best to you!

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