1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What is Runny Nose (Rhinitis)?


Updated April 11, 2009

Question: What is Runny Nose (Rhinitis)?

Rhinitis is a medical term that refers to inflammation of the nose or runny nose. It can include itching, burning, running, sneezing, and feeling stuffy or congested. There are many causes of rhinitis including allergies, a cold virus, irritation due to chemicals and cigarette smoke, or extreme dryness of the mucous membranes.

The treatment of rhinitis involves finding the root cause. Short-term rhinitis (also called acute rhinitis) is usually the result of a cold, chemical irritation, or temporary dryness due to a change in climate. Long-term rhinitis (also called chronic rhinitis) is often caused by an allergy. Allergies can cause seasonal rhinitis for those who are allergic to things like pollen and grass. There is also some documentation that certain foods can cause rhinitis.


American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Advice from Your Allergist: Rhinitis. Accessed March 31, 2009 from http://www.acaai.org/public/advice/rhin.htm

Related Video
How to Use a Bulb Syringe for a Baby's Nose
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Ear, Nose, & Throat Disorders
  4. ENT Disorders A - Z
  5. ENT Disorders: P - R
  6. Runny Nose - What is Rhinitis or Runny Nose

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.