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    Old 03-12-2004, 11:56 AM   #1
    ivymnm
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    Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    After a miscarriage 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Asthma (I take Advair for this), Nasal Polyps (Rhinocort Aqua for this), Hypothyroidism (Synthroid for this), and Non-Allergic Rhinitis (Zyrtec for this)....Non-Allergic Rhinitis?

    I think the only thing 'non-allergic' means that they can't find what I am allergic to. Anyone have the same? I can't seem to find out much information about it. Doc says to just take my meds...but you know. That's not always the answer I want to hear.

    Any helpful info would be much appreciated!

     
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    Old 03-12-2004, 12:25 PM   #2
    chigs489
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    Non-Allergic Rhinitis just refers to nasal irritation/running from environmental factors such as cold weather, or spicey food.

    Some people are more sensitive to these things, and their nose constantly runs. I don't think there is much that can be done about it.

     
    Old 03-13-2004, 08:24 AM   #3
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    My allergist says it means you react to ANY foreign particles that get in your nose. Another doctor I talked to said it means they just can't tell what I'm allergic to. But the Allergist's description explains my symptoms better - I react to perfune. dust, pollen, mold - tons of things that I'm definitely not allergic to, according to the skin and blood tests.

    And yes, also sudden weather changes and spicy food.
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    Last edited by Crossbow; 03-13-2004 at 08:25 AM.

     
    Old 03-13-2004, 11:29 AM   #4
    ivymnm
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    Thanks for the info guys!

    My nose does run all the time and I have tested negative to all irritants that they have tested.

     
    Old 03-14-2004, 02:23 PM   #5
    Crossbow
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    A saline rinse is supposed to help. Mostly, just stay out of dusty, moldy places, don't wear cologne, and carry lots of kleenex with you in spring and fall when the weather changes especially fast. And when you start sneezing uncontrollably, tell everyone it's going to rain and see how impressed they are when you're right.
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    Old 03-15-2004, 07:08 PM   #6
    MrsLee
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    Rhinitis is basically inflamation of the nose. When you have allergic rhinitis, or allergies, the allergen causes your body to release histamines, which cause the runny nose, etc. When you have non-allergic rhinitis, it means something is irritating your nose, but it is not a true allergy where your body releases the histamines.

    I have this also. My doctor calls it vasomotor rhinitis, which basically means that anything in the environment (dust, mold, temperature, changes in temperature, changes in humidity, smoke, spicy foods, ANYTHING) can irritate your nose and cause the tissue to swell, which causes the stuffiness, headaches, etc. I think it is pretty much the same thing as non-allergic rhinitis.

    In my case I did not test positive for any traditional allergens they tested me for (like mold, cats, etc), but I just had a skin allergy test at my dermatologist and tested positive for some chemicals, so now I need to look into that.

    The doctor told me this is an actual condition, not just that they couldn't find an allergy. Often, people with non-allergic or vasomotor rhinitis do not respond well to any types of allergy meds. I have to take a decongestant to be able to function.

    I hope this helps because when I first found out about it I had to do a lot of research. I would suggest doing to some searches and seeing what you can find. Good luck!

     
    Old 03-16-2004, 07:04 AM   #7
    Crossbow
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    Yes, vasomotor rhinitis and non-allergic rhinitis are the same thing.

    I have some odd skin allergies - all metals give me a rash, but only on my neck and wrists, and I'm allergic to something in Nesporin but I don't know what - but no allergies that should affect my nose and eyes. They tested me for 50 foods and even more airborne allergens, and did blood tests for several things.

    My allergist says that vasomotor rhinitis is just an overreatcion - your sinuses are SUPPOSED to get runny when foreign particles get in them, and when the weather changes. It helps keep you healthy. It's just that some of us overdo it.
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    Old 03-18-2004, 10:49 AM   #8
    MrsLee
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    I wish my nose was runny all the time...instead it is stuffy. So stuffy that I can never breathe right. I don't think that is a good repsonse for my body to have, because I think a lot of the particles, etc just end us getting stuck in my nose. I just feel there has to be some treatment for this.

    Crossbow, I am wondering if having allergies to weird things like metals (I am allergic to cobalt and nickel, as well as frangrance and other common product additives) could cause or at least contribute to the stuffy/runny nose. I also get constant headaches and wonder if the allergies contribute. I too get a rash on my neck, not my wrists, and I recently started getting the rash around my eyes and mouth.

    Anyways, nice to hear that there are people out there going throught the same stuff as me (even though it STINKS and I wouldn't wish these annoyances on anyone). Take care!

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 06:56 AM   #9
    WishUwerehere
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    Hi Mrs Lee,
    I know exactly what you are talking about....I have a stuffy nose all the time and have also been diagnosed with vasomotor rhinitis. During the day I can function, but at night it is unbearable. Within 5 minutes of laying down, my nose is completely blocked. I've tried sleeping on 2 or 3 pillows, but I think I would actually have to sleep sitting up to avoid the congestion. It is horrible. I wake up 20-30 times a night because I am trying to breathe through my nose and can't. Then within 5 minutes of getting up in the morning, my nose starts to clear. During the day I would say that I'm 50-75% clear (unless I have a cold or sinus infection, which is often). It is so frustrating.

    I've tried a few things that have worked for a short while, but the problem never goes away for long. Some of the things I've tried before bed with limited success are:
    Irrigation with saline or Breathe-ease XL
    Zyrtec-D
    Astelin nasal spray (prescription)
    Flonase
    OTC guaifenesin (expectorant, like in Robitussin, but I get the store brand).

    The only thing I'm doing that still works is using a children's strength decongestant nasal spray, which I know is bad because it can have rebound effects, but I figure at least it is a low strength so maybe it won't be as severe. I don't use it every night, just on nights that I absolutely can't get to sleep or when the pressure is so great that it hurts. It is called "Little Noses" and I found it at Wal-Mart. I think it has half of the active ingredient as regular nasal sprays, or maybe less.

    Anyway, maybe you could try some of the things I've tried and get more relief. If not, at least know that you're not alone!

    Take Care!

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 07:11 AM   #10
    ivymnm
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    I used to be like that....stuffy all the time, bad headaches from it...I am using Rhinocort Aqua...a nasal steroid and it seems to have helped immensly. I use it along with Zyrtec. I tried to use different products...Flonase, Nasacort..ect...but I had what was similar to an allergic reaction and things would be worse with my stuffy nose and headaches.

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 07:17 AM   #11
    WishUwerehere
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    Hmmm...thanks for sharing that, ivymnm. I have been thinking about asking my doctor to switch me to Rhinocort from Flonase....I've read that it is the only steroid nasal spray that does not contain benzalkonium chloride, which supposedly destroys the cilia in your nose. After hearing your story maybe I will get off my duff and make an appointment! Thanks again!

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 07:27 AM   #12
    ivymnm
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    One doctor prescribed Astelin for me but it was useless. I didn't notice a change at all, even after using it for quite a while.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WishUwerehere
    Hi Mrs Lee,
    I know exactly what you are talking about....I have a stuffy nose all the time and have also been diagnosed with vasomotor rhinitis. During the day I can function, but at night it is unbearable. Within 5 minutes of laying down, my nose is completely blocked. I've tried sleeping on 2 or 3 pillows, but I think I would actually have to sleep sitting up to avoid the congestion. It is horrible. I wake up 20-30 times a night because I am trying to breathe through my nose and can't. Then within 5 minutes of getting up in the morning, my nose starts to clear. During the day I would say that I'm 50-75% clear (unless I have a cold or sinus infection, which is often). It is so frustrating.

    I've tried a few things that have worked for a short while, but the problem never goes away for long. Some of the things I've tried before bed with limited success are:
    Irrigation with saline or Breathe-ease XL
    Zyrtec-D
    Astelin nasal spray (prescription)
    Flonase
    OTC guaifenesin (expectorant, like in Robitussin, but I get the store brand).

    The only thing I'm doing that still works is using a children's strength decongestant nasal spray, which I know is bad because it can have rebound effects, but I figure at least it is a low strength so maybe it won't be as severe. I don't use it every night, just on nights that I absolutely can't get to sleep or when the pressure is so great that it hurts. It is called "Little Noses" and I found it at Wal-Mart. I think it has half of the active ingredient as regular nasal sprays, or maybe less.

    Anyway, maybe you could try some of the things I've tried and get more relief. If not, at least know that you're not alone!

    Take Care!

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 11:01 AM   #13
    MrsLee
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    That's interesting--I may have to try the rhinocort. I used to use flonase and astelin both, but neither worked after consistent use, and I also noticed I got pretty bad tonsil stones when I was using them.

    Right now I use allegra D just for the decongestant. The problem is I can't take it at night because the decongestant keeps me up. I also use Simply Saline, which helps a little bit. I have tried nasal irrigation, but I just can't get it to work. The water gets into my eustachian tubes every time. I have also been using afrin (again....) even though I know it is terrible for your nose. It is just too easy to get addicted, even though I am now at that point where it doesn't really help, just makes it worse. It just really makes me mad that we are all suffering and there is really not much to do about it.

     
    Old 03-19-2004, 12:04 PM   #14
    WishUwerehere
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    It makes me mad, too. I really feel that there has got to be a good cure or treatment out there, but there just aren't any doctors interested in researching it. There's always something new coming out for allergies, but I guess nonallergic rhinitis just isn't as common, so doctors don't care about it. I had one doctor (ENT) tell me that it was just part of my "natural nasal cycle," like it was my period or something, lol!

    I did do some research on "nasal cycles" and apparently it is a valid concept.....your nose sort of "shuts down" or clogs up for a while in order to rest the membranes from the constant flow of air. Most people barely notice it, but in some people it is more pronounced. It is caused by your parasympathetic nervous system and usually involves the nostrils taking turns closing down, but in my case they must not be in "sync" with each other, lol! I even researched drugs that would inhibit the parasympathetic nervous system, thinking maybe I would try to get my doctor to prescribe some to me. I can't remember the names of any of them now, but basically I came to the conclusion that it would not be worth the risks that would come with the drugs (I think a lot of them had cardiac effects). But maybe there is a way to use yoga, accupuncture, or meditation or something to inhibit your parasympathetic nervous system (???). I used to think alternative medicine or therapies were all just a crock, but the older I get (and the more traditional medicine fails me), the more open-minded (or desperate) I am becoming.

    One more thing I forgot to mention which I read might help is papaya enzymes. You can buy them in pill form and they are supposed to do something to shrink your mucus membranes or something. I tried them and they didn't work for me, but I thought I'd share the info in the event they may be someone else's godsend.

    The more I hear about surgery I just don't know if it would be worth the risks and the long healing time. My doctor said it would be very simple for him to just inject a steroid into my nasal mucosa to shrink the membranes, but when I researched that on the internet it said that it has caused a lot of people to go blind!!!! No thank you!!! Has anyone else heard of this?

    I did call my doctor and he agreed to switch me from Flonase to Rhinocort without me having to come in for an appointment, Thank Goodness! Mrs. Lee, in addition to inquiring about the Rhinocort, you might want to ask about taking Zyrtec D at night instead of Allegra D. My doctor said the Zyrtec actually has a bit of a sedating effect (I just wish it had more of a decongestant effect! LOL). It is an antihistamine with a decongestant but I am just taking it for the decongestant too, because I don't have any identified allergies. I know how hard it is to resist the Afrin when you just can't breathe. You might try switching to the pediatric strength "Little Noses" brand. It doesn't totally clear up my congestion but it sort of takes the edge off and relieves some of the pressure, and I haven't noticed any problem with addiction or rebound effect yet (after about a year of 2-3 nights a week use). I force myself to just use one drop, and usually just in the nostril that's worse. I think the dosage for children is 2-3 drops in each nostril, so hopefully I'm keeping the dosage low enough so I won't have problems.

    Good luck and keep in touch! I'll post back after a few days on the Rhinocort and let you know how it's working. Hang in there!

     
    Old 03-20-2004, 01:57 PM   #15
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    Re: Non-Allergic Rhinitis

    wishuwerehere-that "nasal cycle" thing cracked me up! Oh the things I was imagining!

    It sounds like some of those drugs are pretty dangerous. I agree about the alternative medicine stuff. I am not that old (22) but I have been to my share of doctors that just dont care. I would love to try accupuncture but it is just too expensive for me right now. But I guess the amount of money I have spent is way more than accupuncture would be. I have taken yoga classes, and it is a lot of fun, but not being able to breathe makes it much less enjoyable. Deep breathing (in through the nose) is central to yoga, so I found it quite frustrating. Yoga was actually what prompted me to see an ENT about my breathing problems.

    I think when it comes to quality of life issues, doctors just don't care. My ENT is always telling me to just live with it. Quit using the afrin and just take the allergy medicine. I am tired of that. I know the afrin is bad, but right now I am so addicted to it that I use it probably 8 times a day and I still can't breathe very well. I know I need my ENT to help wean me off of it again.

    I will definetly ask about the zyrtec d, thanks for the suggestion. One caution about surgery: I know your doctor recommended a different surgery than this, but I had a deviated septum correction surgery last July, at the urging of my ENT. This was his first course of action, and I regret having gone with it. It did not work. At all. I now know that it was the vasomotor rhinitis making me stuffy, not so much the septum. It sounds as if you have already done research, which is great. I wish I would have done more before agreeing to srugery.

    Anyways, I'd love to hear how the rhinocort works. Good luck and take care!

     
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