The word rhinitis means simply “inflammation of the nose.” The nose normally produces a fluid called mucus. This fluid is normally thin and clear. It helps to keep dust, debris and allergens out of the lungs. Mucus traps particles like dust and pollen as well as bacteria and viruses.
Often runny and stuffed nose symptoms are accompanied by a headache in the area around the eyes, nose and temples. People with allergies are especially prone to these symptoms. They are signs of rhinitis and sinusitis, two very common medical problems. It is estimated that up to 40 million American adults and children have one or both of these conditions.
Although not life-threatening, rhinitis and sinusitis can make you miserable. At their worst, they can keep you from functioning normally, and may lead to life-threatening complications. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent these problems. And effective treatments exist when these symptoms do arise. If you have allergies, you are more likely to develop rhinitis or sinusitis than are persons without allergies. This makes it even more important to keep your allergies under control and to prevent rhinitis and sinusitis from occurring.