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Rhinitis - what it is and how to treat it

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Rhinitis

Rhinitis is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterised by inflammation of the nasal passages, leading to symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip.

There are two types of Rhinitis: allergic and nonallergic. Allergic Rhinitis is caused by allergic reactions to things around you. Nonallergic Rhinitis can be caused by environmental factors around you such as dust, secondhand smoke and strong odours like perfumes. It could also be triggered by chemical fumes in certain occupations.

While primarily affecting the nasal passages, it can also have effects on other parts of the body, including the ears.

Hearing Loss

One of the most common effects of rhinitis on the ear is hearing loss. This can occur because the inflammation in the nasal passages can cause blockages in the Eustachian tubes, which connect the back of the nose to the middle ear. When these tubes are blocked, it can prevent air from flowing into the middle ear, leading to a decrease in hearing.

Earwax Removal

Another effect of rhinitis on the ear is the buildup of earwax. When the nasal passages are inflamed, it can cause an increase in mucus production, which can then drain into the ear canal. This can lead to a buildup of earwax, which can further block the Eustachian tubes and lead to hearing loss. Regular earwax removal is important for individuals with rhinitis to prevent this buildup and maintain their hearing.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sound in the ear, can also be a side effect of rhinitis. This is because the inflammation in the nasal passages can cause pressure changes in the middle ear, leading to the perception of sound when there is no external noise present. While tinnitus is not usually a serious condition, it can be annoying and disruptive to daily life.

Treatment Options

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for individuals with rhinitis who are experiencing effects on their ears. Over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines can help relieve nasal congestion and reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, which can in turn alleviate symptoms in the ears. For more severe cases, prescription medications or allergy injections may be necessary.

In cases where hearing loss or earwax buildup is a concern, individuals may need to see an Audiologist for further evaluation and treatment. This may include earwax removal, a hearing test, or even surgery to correct any structural issues in the Eustachian tubes.

 

Rhinitis

In conclusion, rhinitis can have several effects on the ear, including hearing loss, earwax buildup, and tinnitus. It is important for individuals with rhinitis to be aware of these potential complications and seek treatment when necessary to maintain their ear health. By following the appropriate treatment plan, individuals can reduce the impact of rhinitis on their ears and improve their overall quality of life.

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Are you looking for more information before making a booking? If so, then give us a call on 01429 233 091 for a friendly chat.

Alternatively you can find the NHS page on this subject by clicking here