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Allergic rhinitis is a condition that affects the nose and this usually happens when you are allergic to things that irritate your nose. Non-Allergic rhinitis has symptoms that are similar to allergic rhinitis. However, non-allergic rhinitis is caused by changes in temperature or when you breathe in smoke or certain perfumes.
Allergic rhinitis is a condition that affects the nose and this usually happens when you are allergic to things that irritate your nose. Examples of such things include dust, dust mites, wood dust and pollen. These are known as “allergens”.
When you breathe in the allergen, your body releases chemicals which can cause allergy symptoms. The swelling of sinuses (also known as sinusitis) or ear infections can happen due to these allergies.
Non-Allergic rhinitis has symptoms that are similar to allergic rhinitis. However, non-allergic rhinitis is caused by changes in temperature or when you breathe in smoke or certain perfumes. Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy or puberty can also cause symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis.
Frequent sneezing (most often in the morning)
Blocked or stuffy nose
Runny and itchy nose (usually with clear and thin mucus)
Red, itchy and watery eyes
Mucus in the throat due to mucus dripping from the back of the nose
Ears, nose and throat may become dry
Avoid the allergens.
Some allergens may be difficult to avoid (e.g. dust/dust mites). Try wearing a face mask when you are in contact with increased dust particles (e.g. when you do housework)
Avoid spicy food in non-allergic rhinitis as it may cause rhinitis symptoms.
Blow your nose regularly. Gently blow your nose if there are mucus or irritants present.
Use a humidifier to help loosen the mucus in your nose
Avoid sudden temperature changes
Antihistamines can help to relieve itchy and runny nose as well as frequent sneezing. Common antihistamines include cetirizine, loratidine and chlorpheniramine.
Decongestants reduce swelling around the nasal area and this helps to relieve congestion. Nasal congestion results in you having a stuffy or blocked nose. Decongestants come in oral and nasal spray forms. Common oral decongestants include pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine. Common nasal spray decongestants include naphazoline and oxymetazoline. You should not use your decongestant nasal spray for more than 3 days in a row as long-term use can cause the congestion to worsen.
Steroid nasal sprays decrease swelling around the nasal area and reduces symptoms of allergy. Common nasal sprays include steroids such as fluticasone, mometasone and budesonide. Some nasal sprays can be bought from a pharmacist while others need a doctor’s prescription.
For those aged 11 years old and above:
It is normally started as 2 sprays in each nostril once a day. It can be reduced to 1 spray in each nostril once a day for maintenance.
For those aged 6-11years old:
The normal dose is 1 spray in each nostril once a day, but you may use up to 2 sprays if not effective. The maintenance dose is 1 spray in each nostril once a day.
The normal dose is 2 sprays in each nostril two times a day and reduced to 1 spray in each nostril once a day for maintenance.
For those aged 2-11years old
The normal dose is 1 spray in each nostril once a day.
For those aged 6 years old and above:
The normal dose is 2 sprays in each nostril two times a day. It can be reduced to 1 spray in each nostril once a day.
The common side effects are slight discomfort or irritation in the nose. These side effects are usually not serious and are temporary. They are normally limited to a certain area. To reduce these side effects, you should always use the correct nasal spray in the way you are taught. You should aim the spray away from the nose bone that separates the two nostrils. If these side effects become inconvenient or worse, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist.
Steroid sprays need to be used regularly to prevent the symptoms of allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. Therefore, you should use the sprays regularly as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist unless they advise you differently.
Steroid nasal sprays are designed to provide medicine directly to your nasal area and the medicine is usually not absorbed into the body as long as you use the correct technique. Steroid nasal sprays are usually safe for long-term use. Your doctor will also monitor you for any side effects if you need to use the nasal spray for a long time.
The bitter taste happens because you breathe in the steroid spray too hard. This causes the medicine to flow down the throat and into the mouth instead of staying in the nose. To prevent this from happening, you should lower your head slightly and breathe in normally when spraying.
The nasal sprays should not be kept for more than 2 months after you open it. If you use the nasal spray regularly, the nasal sprays should not last for more than 2 months.
There are a few possibilities:
It is possible that you did not press the nasal spray properly. You must press the nasal spray hard enough or all the way down during use, to see a fine mist spraying out.
The mist may be too fine to be easily felt when you spray it.
The nasal spray is empty. If the nasal spray is not empty and there is no fine mist coming out when you press it, please check with your pharmacist.
The nasal spray is not working properly. You should check with your pharmacist to get a possible replacement.
This article answers some common questions about this medicine. It does not contain all the available information. It also does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
This article was last reviewed on
Sunday, April 15, 2018
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Ministry of Health Singapore. All Rights Reserved.