What’s Non-Allergic Rhinitis?

Chronic sneezing, nasal congestion, and runny nose are symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis (vasomotor rhinitis). Non-allergic rhinitis differs from allergic rhinitis because, unlike an allergy, it doesn’t involve the immune system, despite the fact that these symptoms are identical to those of allergic rhinitis (hay fever). When the immune system overreacts to an allergen, which is a normally harmless material, an allergic reaction takes place.

Non-allergic rhinitis symptoms can be brought on by a variety of factors, including airborne irritants or odors, particular meals or drinks, specific medications, climatic changes, or underlying chronic health issues. These symptoms may be intermittent or persistent.


The symptoms associated with non-allergic rhinitis vary from patient to patient. Those with this condition may experience symptoms on and off throughout the year, in any season. While symptoms vary, the most common symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis are:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Postnasal Drip

What Causes Allergic Rhinitis?

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This is the most common trigger of non-allergic rhinitis and manifests as the “common cold.”

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Changes in temperature or humidity levels can affect the delicate membranes within the nose, triggering rhinitis symptoms.

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Food and Beverages

Some patients can have a non-allergic reaction to spice foods or alcohol, triggering symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis.

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Environmental Irritants

Dust, pollution, smoke, or perfumes can trigger this condition. Chemical irritants in an industrial environment can also be a trigger.

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Certain Medications

Aspirin, ibuprofen, and beta-blockers are a few drugs that can cause non-allergic rhinitis.

Treatment Options for Non-Allergic Rhinitis

It is essential to have an accurate diagnosis so you can manage your condition appropriately. Physicians often recommend allergy testing to rule out allergic rhinitis because the symptoms are so similar.

Non-allergic rhinitis is not curable, but many people find relief by avoiding triggers, using a saline rinse solution, or taking over the counter or prescription medications. There are many effective treatments for non-allergic rhinitis. Working in close consultation with a doctor can help patients develop the most effective treatment plan.

Treating non-allergic rhinitis can involve several interventions, including:

Nasal sprays

Corticosteroid nasal sprays

Antihistamine nasal sprays

Anti-drip anticholinergic nasal sprays