Sinus Surgery

Can Rhinitis Surgery Cure Chronic Rhinitis?

August 8, 2022

5 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

If you’ve been living in discomfort because of chronic rhinitis, you’ve probably wondered about treatment options, and if rhinitis surgery is an option for long-term relief. Although rhinitis cannot technically be cured, there are many chronic rhinitis treatment options that can get you back to breathing easy — and keep you there.

At Kaplan Sinus Relief we know how difficult nasal discomfort can be, and how much it can affect a person’s quality of life. We also have a team of sinus experts ready to perform a suite of treatment options to combat that discomfort, and we’re here to tell you how.

What is chronic rhinitis?

Rhinitis is an umbrella term for many types of reactions that inflame the mucous membrane of your nose, causing nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, or itching. The two main categories of rhinitis are allergic (vasomotor) and nonallergic (idiopathic) rhinitis.

Although many people have heard the term rhinitis, it can be difficult to connect your symptoms to the condition. Rhinitis symptoms are effectively the same for both allergic and nonallergic rhinitis:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive sneezing or coughing (read more about coughing from allergies)
  • Sore throats
  • Post nasal drip
  • Sinus headaches
  • Sinusitis
  • Ear infections
  • Sleep apnea
  • Anosmia 

What is chronic rhinitis? There is some disagreement about how long one has to suffer from rhinitis in order to be considered chronic rhinitis, but essentially if you have been experiencing symptoms for a couple of weeks, most doctors would consider that chronic. 

Why does it matter? Rhinitis only becomes more harmful if left untreated, as irritation and swelling abound and infection becomes more and more likely.  

Continue reading: What happens if rhinitis is left untreated?

Difference between allergic and nonallergic rhinitis

It is important to first understand the distinctions between the types of rhinitis before approaching chronic rhinitis treatment.

Allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is effectively just allergies, and is the most common type of rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is caused by the respiration of allergens, which produce histamine and inflame the nasal passages. 

Chronic allergic rhinitis occurs if you cannot avoid allergens and do not find relief from antihistamines or nasal sprays.

Nonallergic rhinitis

Nonallergic rhinitis is caused by triggers and irritants that are not allergens, including:

  • Medications including antidepressants, contraceptives, and anti-inflammatory medicines
  • Nasal sprays (overuse of these causing rhinitis is called rhinitis medicamentosa)
  • Strong chemicals like chlorine, chemicals from things like exhaust and hairspray
  • Smoke
  • Sudden changes in humidity
  • Sudden hormonal changes (rhinitis during pregnancy is not uncommon)
  • Food and drink sensitivities, particularly spicy foods and alcohol
  • Hyperthyroidism

Other forms of nonallergic rhinitis include atrophic rhinitis and polypous rhinitis. Atrophic rhinitis occurs when the nasal mucosa becomes atrophied and can no longer protect the nasal tissue, while polypous rhinitis occurs when noncancerous growths called polyps appear in the sinuses and nasal tissue. 

How do you permanently cure rhinitis?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a “cure” for rhinitis. There are however a range of chronic rhinitis treatments that can help to alleviate symptoms and provide long-term relief. Before your doctor recommends surgery, they will likely suggest a few other methods to attenuate your symptoms:

  • Allergen avoidance (we know, this can be impossible)
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestant tablets or nasal sprays
  • Steroid nasal sprays
  • Saline nasal sprays
  • Immunotherapy
  • The use of air filters and humidifiers

If these methods are not successful you will likely want to look at procedural options. Luckily, many of the chronic rhinitis treatments offered at Kaplan Sinus Relief are quick, painless, and minimally invasive! Depending on which treatment is right for you, rhinitis surgery recovery can be as short as an afternoon!

ClariFix® for rhinitis

Cryotherapy for allergies is a fantastic option for those who can’t find chronic rhinitis relief through over-the-counter, preliminary methods. ClariFix® is a breakthrough technology that targets the posterior nasal nerve (PNN), the part of your nose that signals whether it should be secreting mucus or becoming congested. The procedure uses a cryoablation device that cools your PNN using liquid nitrogen to calm overactivity. 

ClariFix® cryotherapy takes only a few minutes, is relatively painless, and has long lasting results. 

Balloon sinuplasty for rhinitis

When you think about nasal surgery for allergies, the words 20 minutes, painless, and minimally invasive probably don’t come to mind, but they should! Dr. Michael Kaplan of Kaplan Sinus Relief, who pioneered the balloon sinuplasty procedure in Houston, has brought relief to thousands of patients (and counting) using this technique. 

Balloon sinuplasty with Dr. Kaplan can immediately reduce nasal congestion, sinus pressure, and inflammation, and keep them away for a long time to come. 

Find long term relief with rhinitis surgery at Kaplan Sinus Relief

Rhinitis surgery can manage symptoms and provide long term relief for chronic rhinitis. While “curing” rhinitis is technically not possible, you can live free of rhinitis symptoms by working with professional and experienced sinus specialists, like those at Kaplan Sinus Relief. 

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Kaplan by calling (713) 766-1818 or scheduling an appointment online today!

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Houston, TX 77098