Rhinitis, sinusitis and triple nasal therapy


Rhinitis, also known as coryza, is the inflammation of the membranes inside the nose and the nasal cavity. The commonest cause is allergic rhinitis, or hayfever, where pollen causes this irritation.

Viral illnesses like colds can also be a trigger.

People often complain of a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and a sensation of a drip down the back of the throat. This can cause a cough which might be more productive in the morning, dry through the day, and again worse on lying down.


Sinusitis is the inflammation of the nasal sinuses, which are beyond the main nasal cavity. The frontal sinuses just above the mid eye brows and nose, the maxillary sinuses just on the cheeks and the sphenoid sinus which is further back can become swollen and inflamed causing grogginess, headaches and post nasal drip.

Sinusitis has the same triggers and causes as rhinitis, though sometimes when it is quite severe people can become rather unwell – particularly in bacterial sinusitis. This needs review and treatment by your doctor.

Triple Nasal Therapy

Nasal and sinus congestion are often the most unpleasant aspects of having a viral infection, and a flare up of allergic rhinitis. The management of these symptoms are often simple, but need to be given time. In stepwise fashion, the three strategies below can clear, decongest, and have anti-inflammatory effects on the nasal passages and sinuses.

  1. Nasal rinse:
    Use a saline rinse to clear the nasal passages and sinuses of mucous and irritants. Neilmed sinus rinse, netipot or nasal flo are all excellent products. If there is only mild congestion, then a fess saline nasal spray will suffice. This will help clear blockages, and allows other medicated sprays to work well.
  2. Decongestant spray:
    A spray that contains oxymetazoline or similar ingredients will cause the leaky vessels in the nose to constrict and provide up to 12 hours of relief at a time. Drixine, otrivin, Dimetapp nasal sprays or pharmacy brands all work well. It is important not to use this on an ongoing basis as the effect wears off and the rebound effect can be quite severe.
  3. Anti-inflammatory spray:
    For people suffering from chronic symptoms, you may need a daily preventative spray. Nasonex, Omnaris, Avamys or Dymista are examples. These need to be used on an ongoing basis to work well, and take about 1-2 weeks to take effect. They are either used through a troublesome season, or indefinitely in some patients.

If you find that your symptoms recur a lot, or you get frequent episodes, then your doctor can help identify what your triggers may be and implement strategies to help in the long term.

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