The Nose
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Nasal Dysfunctions


Nasal congestion refers to the blockage of the nasal passages. In response to various threats the internal nasal tissues swell due to dilated blood vessels, the mucous thickens and the ciliary movement on the mucous membrane decreases lowering in turn the efficiency of cleaning mechanism of the nasal mucosa. As a result, respiration through the nose is obstructed and may eventually lead to attenuation of its protective function and the appearance of infection...
 
Common Cold Rhinitis Sinusitis

Rhinitis

Rhinitis, is defined as irritation and inflammation of the nasal membranes due to viruses, bacteria or irritants. The inflammation results in the generating of excessive amounts of mucous, as well as nasal congestion.



Rhinitis is characterized by a set of symptoms that consists of any combination of the following: blocked nose, sneezing, nasal itching, and rhinorrhea (runny nose). The eyes, ears, sinuses, and throat can also be involved.

The usual drug therapy to curb the symptoms of rhinitis may be nasal steroids, antihistamines and decongestants. Nasal corticosteroids are the treatment of choice, because antihistamines do not completely eliminate nasal congestion. Decongestants have the disadvantage of producing an increase in congestion after prolonged use (known as the rebound effectrhinitis medicamentosa).

Rhinitis is categorized into two types: (i) nonallergic rhinitis may be either infectious (caused by a virus or bacterium) or, vasomotor (includes autonomic, hormonal, medicine-induced); (ii) allergic rhinitis, triggered by pollen, mold, animal dander, dust and other similar inhaled allergens.

Infectious rhinitis
Infectious rhinitis is commonly caused by a viral or bacterial infection, including the common cold. This type of rhinitis is classified as inflammatory. Symptoms of the common cold include rhinorrhea, nasal congestion, sore throat (pharyngitis), cough, etc.

Vasomotor rhinitis
Vasomotor rhinitis is classified as non-inflammatory rhinitis. Certain non-allergic triggers such as hormonal (e.g. pregnancy), medicine (rebound effect), smells, fumes and temperature changes cause the rhinitis. It is thought that these non-allergic triggers cause dilation of the blood vessels in the lining of the nose resulting in swelling, and drainage. Vasomotor rhinitis can coexist with allergic rhinitis, and this is called "mixed rhinitis".

Allergic rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis occurs when an allergen (something that triggers an allergy) such as pollen or dust is inhaled by an individual with a sensitized immune system, and triggers antibody production. The body thus releases chemicals such as histamine. This causes symptoms such as itching, swelling, and increased mucus production. Symptoms and the intensity thereof, vary in severity between individuals.

There are two categories of allergic rhinitis:


Seasonal—occurs particularly during pollen seasons
Perennial—occurs throughout the year

Allergic rhinitis triggered by the pollens of specific seasonal plants is commonly known as hay fever. Hay fever involves an allergic reaction to pollen. The pollens that cause hay fever vary from person to person and from region to region. The amount of pollen in the air can play a role in whether hay fever symptoms develop. Hot, dry, windy days are more likely to have increased amounts of pollen in the air than cool, damp, rainy days when most pollen is washed to the ground.

Allergies are common. Heredity and environmental exposures may contribute to a predisposition to allergies.

Rhinopharyngitis, inflammation of the nose and throat (pharynx) at the same time.