Sunday, January 15, 2006

rhinitis

Rhinitis is an inflammatory disease of the nose, frequently caused by viral infections or the common cold. In older individuals, rhinitis is often due to atrophic changes in the nose.
Congestion, discharge (rhinorrhea), and postnasal drainage are common symptoms with anosmia (loss of smell) an occasional complaint. In some individuals the nasal mucosa is particularly reactive to commonplace substances, such as dust and cigarette smoke, causing chronic rhinitis. Septal deformity and nasal polyposis (development of multiple polyps) are also contributing factors in chronic rhinitis.
Cyrosurgery may be used to reduce excess mucosa and control rhinorrhea. Cauterization, especially electrocauterization, is also effective. In atrophic rhinitis where crusts commonly form and offensive nasal breath is present, nasal hygiene is most important. Frequent irrigation and gentle removal of the crusts is essential. Use of a bland ointment helps prevent the reformation of the crusts.
See also ACUTE RESPIRATORY DISEASE; EPISTAXIS; SINUSITIS.
Ballenger, J. J. Diseases of the Nose, Throat, Ear, Head and Neck, 13th ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1985.

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