Non-allergenic rhinitis may require antibiotic treatment if infection is suspected.

Allergic rhinitis responds well to allergen avoidance and medication such as anti-histamines.

What is Rhinitis?

Rhinitis is an inflammation of the lining of the nose. Cells in the lining of the nose react to a stimulus by releasing histamine which in turn causes the inflammation. Persistent rhinitis is when these symptoms continue long-term. Causes can be either allergic or non-allergic.

The most common cause of allergic persistent rhinitis is an allergy to the house dust mite. Others include allergies to animals and pollen (hay fever). You are more likely to develop allergic rhinitis if you already have asthma or eczema.

A common cause of non-allergic rhinitis is the common cold.



  • sneezing
  • blocked nose
  • nasal discharge
  • itchy nose
  • loss of smell
  • loss of taste
  • itchy/puffy eyes
  • tiredness



Treatment can include a steroid nose spray such as Avamys or Nasonex, antihistamine tablets; or a combination of the two. Sometimes desensitisation injections are required.

If the cause is unclear, your doctor might suggest an allergy test. The ENT Clinic offers Skin Prick Allergy Testing as part of The Nose Clinic at The Esperance Hospital.

Other tests and examinations may be necessary to look for other possible causes or complications. For example, if nasal polyps are suspected, CT scanning may be requested.

Surgery is not often necessary to treat simple rhinitis. However, if you develop complications such as large turbinates, sinusitis or nasal polyps, it may be required.

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