Atrophic Rhinitis

Atrophic Rhinitis Radiology

The Atrophic Rhinitis (AR) is a group of diseases characterized by inflammation of the nasal passages. These include:

Primary Atrophic Rhinitis (PARA): This disease develops when there are no other causes for your nose’s symptoms. Primary AR may be caused by certain infections or allergies, but it most commonly occurs due to age-related changes in the immune system.

Secondary Atrophic Rhinitis (SARA): Secondary AR is not always present with primary AR. However, it often follows a similar pattern. For example, SARA may occur after a viral infection such as cold sores or chicken pox. Other common causes of secondary AR include tumors and some cancers.

Infections that cause AR include: Herpes simplex virus (HSV), Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and many others. There are several types of AR. They range from mild to severe.

This form of the disease typically begins in childhood and is triggered by a virus.

The second type of AR is known as allergic fungal rhinosinusitis, or AFRS. This condition is triggered by an allergy. It can usually be treated with over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines and decongestants.

Rhinitis is the medical term used to describe a running nose. There are several types of rhinitis that can be caused by a number of different factors, including allergic reactions to irritants in the air such as dust or pet dander, airborne allergens, and infections. Atrophic rhinitis is a rare cause of a runny nose that is typically seen in older adults.

The four types of rhinitis are:

Acute – lasts less than six weeks

Subacute – lasts six to eight weeks

Chronic – lasts more than eight weeks but less than three months.

Persistent – lasts more than three months

Atrophic rhinitis is a rare condition that causes the lining of the nose to become thinner. This results in a perpetually runny nose even when the patient is not suffering an infection or cold. It can also result in crusting and inflammation inside the nose, as well as foul-smelling drainage. Atrophic rhinitis is most commonly seen in women over the age of 50 and men over the age of 60. It is usually caused by a combination of factors that cause the nose to thin and decrease its ability to fight off infection.

These factors include:

Smoking – Smokers are much more likely to suffer from atrophic rhinitis than non-smokers.

Age – As people get older, their nose slowly begins to thin and weaken.

Hygiene – People who do not properly washed their nose out or blow their nose on a regular basis are more likely to suffer from infection and inflammation. This is especially true for men.

Allergies – Allergies cause the body to react as if they are fighting off a virus when they are really suffering an allergic reaction. This can lead to a runny nose, which in turn leads to atrophic rhinitis.

Nasal Trauma – Physical trauma, especially to the face, can injure the lining of the nose and cause it to become thin and inflamed.

If you suffer from atrophic rhinitis, your doctor will order a biopsy of the lining of your nose to confirm the diagnosis. He may also order imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan to rule out other causes of your symptoms such as tumors.

While there is no cure for atrophic rhinitis, it can be treated and managed in a number of different ways. Most patients find relief with regular use of a decongestant. Your doctor may also prescribe an antihistamine or an intranasal corticosteroid to reduce the swelling and relieve your symptoms. For particularly stubborn cases, your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic to fight off an infection.

Most people who suffer from atrophic rhinitis find that their condition is a lifelong affliction that requires constant management. If you suffer from this condition, it is important to maintain good hygiene and wash your nose out on a regular basis to prevent bacterial or fungal infections. You should also avoid irritants such as smoke or harsh chemicals when possible and get regular check-ups with your doctor.

Sources & references used in this article:

Atrophic rhinitis: a review of 242 cases by EJ Moore, EB Kern – American journal of rhinology, 2001 –

Atrophic rhinitis: a CFD study of air conditioning in the nasal cavity by GJM Garcia, N Bailie, DA Martins… – Journal of applied …, 2007 –

Rhinitis sicca, dry nose and atrophic rhinitis: a review of the literature by T Hildenbrand, RK Weber, D Brehmer – European Archives of Oto-Rhino …, 2011 – Springer

Closure of the nostrils in atrophic rhinitis by A Young – The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 1967 –