Difference Between Allergic and Nonallergic Rhinitis | Allergic vs Nonallergic Rhinitis


Nonallergic rhinitis is usually a self-limiting condition. The choice of treatment options depends on the severity of the disease. Rinsing the nasal passage or a nasal spray of corticosteroids may relieve the symptoms.

What are the Similarities Between Allergic and Nonallergic Rhinitis?

  • In both allergic and nonallergic rhinitis, the nasal mucosa is inflamed.
  • Both allergic and nonallergic rhinitis have a common set of symptoms.

What is the Difference Between Allergic and Nonallergic Rhinitis?

Allergic vs Nonallergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is defined as nasal discharge or blockage and sneezing attacks that last for more than an hour on most days due to an allergen. Any nasal condition with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis but whose etiology is unknown is defined as the nonallergic rhinitis.
This is caused by an allergen. Nonallergic rhinitis is caused by the action of a pathogen such as a rhinovirus.

Summary – Allergic vs Nonallergic Rhinitis

As their names suggest, the main difference between allergic and nonallergic rhinitis is their cause; allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergen whereas nonallergic rhinitis is caused by the action of a pathogen. None of the various forms of rhinitis are caused by bacteria. Therefore, taking antibiotics when you have a runny nose is futile and in the long run, it can lead to the development antibiotic resistance. The indiscriminate use of antibiotics without the professional advice should be discontinued if we are to prevent the emergence of new strains of microbes that can withstand even the most potent antimicrobial drugs.

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1. Kumar, Parveen J., and Michael L. Clark. Kumar & Clark clinical medicine. Edinburgh: W.B. Saunders, 2009. Print.