• This chronic sneezing or a congested, drippy nose with no apparent cause.
    • The symptoms are similar to those of hay fever (allergic rhinitis), but none of the usual evidence of an allergic reaction is present.
  • Can affect children or adults
    • more common after age 20
  • Triggers of nonallergic rhinitis symptoms vary and can include certain odors or irritants in the air, changes in the weather, some medications, certain foods, and chronic health conditions.
  • Exact cause is unknown.

Nonallergic rhinitis triggers include:

  • Environmental or occupational irritants. Dust, smog, secondhand smoke or strong odors, such as perfumes.
  • Weather changes. Temperature or humidity changes.
  • Infections i.e viral infection — a cold or the flue.
  • Foods and beverages. eating hot or spicy foods and Drinking alcoholic beverages
  • Certain medications i.e. include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), and high blood pressure (hypertension) medications, such as beta blockers.
  • Nonallergic rhinitis can also be triggered in some people by sedatives, antidepressants, oral contraceptives or drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. Overuse of decongestant nasal sprays can cause a type of nonallergic rhinitis called rhinitis medicamentosa.
  • Hormone changes. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menstruation, oral contraceptive use or other hormonal condition such as hypothyroidism.

Risk factors:

  • Exposure to irritants
  • Being older than age 20
  • Prolonged use of decongestant nasal drops or sprays
  • Being female
  • Occupational exposure to fumes
  • Having certain health problems
  • Stress

Signs and symptoms of nonallergic rhinitis may include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Mucus (phlegm) in the throat (postnasal drip)
  • Cough

Nonallergic rhinitis doesn’t usually cause itchy nose, eyes or throat — symptoms associated with allergies such as hay fever.


Nonallergic rhinitis is diagnosed based on your symptoms and ruling out other causes, especially allergies.

Physician may do/request:

  • History & Physical Exam
  • Other Additional tests such as:
    • Skin test
    • Blood test
    • Nasal endoscopy
    • Computerized tomography (CT) scan



  • Treatment of nonallergic rhinitis depends on how much it bothers you. For mild cases, home treatment and avoiding triggers may be enough.
  • For more-bothersome symptoms, certain medications may provide relief, including:
    • Saline nasal sprays
    • Corticosteroid nasal sprays
    • Antihistamine nasal sprays
    • Anti-drip anticholinergic nasal sprays
    • Oral decongestants

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