Rhinitis is an inflammation of the tissues of the nose, primarily the mucous membrane. In everyday life, rhinitis is often called a runny nose. Rhinitis can be acute and chronic. Acute rhinitis is more often observed with an acute respiratory viral infection or an allergic attack. A cold can be combined with an increase in temperature, headache and other signs of a viral disease. Hypothermia provokes an exacerbation of a viral infection and rhinitis, since freezing is accompanied by a narrowing of the blood vessels of the nasal cavity and, consequently, a local inhibition of the protective function of the blood. To confirm this common truth in England, even a direct experiment was conducted with healthy volunteers, which confirmed the dependence of the frequency of a cold on the degree of cooling of the legs.
Most often, acute rhinitis ends after a few days and does not require drug intervention. Acute allergic rhinitis requires the establishment of a cause, that is, an allergen, since there is a high probability of repeated allergic attacks and a chronic process. A huge number of people suffer from chronic rhinitis; in the structure of ENT pathology, only inflammation of the tonsils and otitis media are more common than rhinitis.
Chronic rhinitis is traditionally the result of frequent acute rhinitis, as well as harmful environmental factors – gas pollution, dust, plant pollen. In addition, rhinitis can occur with prolonged vascular edema of the nasal mucosa (this occurs in patients with cardiovascular and renal pathology, also with alcoholism). Some forms of rhinitis are associated with neurohormonal abnormalities in the body.
In the structure of chronic rhinitis, catarrhal rhinitis is distinguished (the surface of the nasal cavity – the mucous membrane suffers), hypertrophic rhinitis (deeper layers are affected), atrophic rhinitis (which in turn is divided into simple rhinitis and fetid, called ozena), vasomotor rhinitis (in clinical manifestations of which the vessels play a huge role and the most common variety of which is called allergic rhinitis).
All forms of rhinitis have similar features, with the exception of atrophic rhinitis. Catarrhal rhinitis, also vasomotor rhinitis, is characterized by swelling of the nasal mucosa, the penetration of inflammatory fluid and protective blood cells into it. With hypertrophic rhinitis, these processes are aggravated by the growth of deeper layers, up to the bone. But with atrophic rhinitis, a completely different picture is observed: special cells that produce mucus disappear or dramatically change their structure, the number of capillaries is reduced. With fetid rhinitis, these few vessels are clogged, and the bony structures of the nose are replaced by softer tissues.
At school age, allergic rhinitis is very common. Persistent nasal congestion leads to impaired breathing, which leads to cognitive impairment, especially when using antiallergic drugs that suppress the effects of histamine. Rhinitis, especially in childhood, is not a harmless disease, since the inflammatory focus is dangerously close to the brain. In addition, swelling of the mucosa disrupts the sense of smell, which leads to emotional disturbances. It is difficult to expect school success from a kid with chronic rhinitis. In children, hormonal agents are not traditionally used to treat rhinitis.
Pregnancy often leads to exacerbation of chronic rhinitis. Drug treatment of rhinitis during pregnancy should be carried out with extreme caution, since the placenta is permeable to drugs for rhinitis.
Chronic rhinitis in the elderly is associated with anatomical changes, in particular, an increase in the number of vessels in the nasal cavity. Often, rhinitis is associated with the side effects of a large number of drugs used by the elderly (sleeping pills that reduce pressure). Allergic rhinitis is quite rare. The most common is atrophic rhinitis, which is especially difficult to prevent and treat in old age.