What is rhinitis?Rhinitis is one of the most common infectious diseases. It is an inflammation of the nasal cavity, and it can have various causes.
The most common agents of rhinitis are viruses, especially rhinoviruses. The nasal mucous membranes swell up, and they result to limited air flow through the nose accompanied by discharge or itchiness of the nose and sneezing. The disease is quickly spread among family members and in children’s collectives, like nurseries and schools. It is transmitted not only by airborne droplets but also by bodily contact and sharing contaminated objects, such as toys. A runny nose often changes into mucousy and then mucopurulent rhinitis. The nasal mucous membrane weakens, and the cilia are not capable of sufficient cleaning. This weakened nasal mucous membrane is predisposed to an ensuing bacterial infection, which is characterized by thick, yellow-green purulent mucus, with a slight odor.
Bacterial inflammation can spread out from the nasal cavity and cause inflammation of the adjacent cavities or the middle ear. in both cases, a doctor should be consulted right away, to avoid serious complications.
Rhinitis caused by allergies is a special case; it is an overreaction of the body to substances commonly found in the environment. This kind of rhinitis should also be treated by a doctor since many patients with chronic rhinitis also suffer from asthma.
How to treat a rhinitis?
Rest is essential! It’s necessary to drink lots of fluids. Warm drinks are good, especially herbal teas. in case of fever, medicines containing paracetamol are useful. For a stuffy nose, nose drops are good, but be careful of decongestants, which are intended only for short-term use (7-10 days). Delmar Hypertonic, a hypertonic saltwater solution that can be used long-term. By osmosis it draws out excess liquid from the mucous membrane, which reduces swelling and freeing the airway. On the other hand, Isotonic Delmar is suitable for everyday hygiene of the nose, thus the nasal mucous membrane is sufficiently humidified to better fulfil its self‑cleaning function.
With very young children who do not know how to blow their noses yet, the excess mucus must be sucked out with the help of an aspirator.
Usually rhinitis doesn´t last longer than a week. But if it doesn’t recede after two weeks, it could be a chronic rhinitis, and it’s best to visit a doctor.
How to prevent a rhinitis?
Rhinitis most often occurs during the colder months. It’s important to build up your body’s immune system with a sufficient intake of vitamins in the form of fruits and vegetables, or vitamin supplements. It’s good to limit spending time in places with a large concentration of people (shopping malls, movie theatres, public transportation). Spending a long time in overheated or smoke‑filled places is not recommended.
Caring for the nasal mucous membranes is also good because only a healthy membrane will be able to catch and remove dirt, bacteria, allergens, etc., thereby contributing to the prevention of diseases of the upper respiratory tract.