Unlike seasonal rhinitis (hay fever), which by definition regularly reappears, non-seasonal (perennial) rhinitis has no specific period. For some sufferers, symptoms may be present all year long. This is particularly true of allergies to house-dust mites. Other types of perennial rhinitis are related to a person’s job or other activities (bakers and flour, farmers and animal hair, do-it-yourselfers and various chemicals such as glue or paint, etc.)

Symptoms of non-seasonal (perennial) rhinitis:

As noted early, these are essentially the same as for seasonal rhinitis, but they tend to be less severe than in hay fever.

However, if left unattended, non-seasonal rhinitis can turn into allergic asthma. Symptoms include nasal congestion (blocked nose), sneezing fits (10-30 sneezes in suc-cession), and aqueous rhinorrhoea (clear runny nose).

NB: Sneezing is a protective reflex and is not necessarily a sign of allergy. When substances irritate the nose, it tries to remove them by coating them with mucus (nasal secretions) and violently expelling them (sneeze).

Tip: If your nose is “blocked”

Do not use decongestants too often; their effect wears off and overuse could seriously damage to the nose’s mucous membranes. Instead use physiological saline: 9 grams of table salt (i.e. 2 small teaspoons) dissolved in a litre of boiled water, dropped into each nos-tril. Physiological saline can also be obtained at your chemist’s.

Why avoid tobacco smoke?

Nicotine in tobacco makes nasal congestion worse. One more reason to give up smoking and to ask people around you not to smoke!

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