Vasomotor Rhinitis


Vasomotor rhinitis means you have a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion without having an infection or any allergy. The trouble can be triggered by certain things, such as strong odors, alcohol or dry air.

Symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis

These are common symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis:

  • rhinorrhea
  • nasal congestion
  • sneezing.

The trouble can start for many different reasons. For example, there may be some food, tobacco smoke, perfume, alcohol, dry air or temperature changes. Often the symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis come on suddenly and go away by themselves after a while.

When and where should I seek care?

Contact a  health care provider  if you have any of the following:

  • Recurring problems with a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and itching in the nose.
  • You will not get better even though you have tried non-prescription nasal spray.
  • Having bloody snout or snout only from one nostril.

What can I do for myself?

Try to avoid the substances or odors that you are hypersensitive to and that cause you to get symptoms.

At pharmacies, there are non-prescription decongestant nasal sprays and non-prescription nasal sprays with cortisone that you can try.

Rinse can help

You can also try rinsing your nose with a saline solution. There is a prescription to buy at a pharmacy or you can make the mixture yourself. Then mix a spicy salt in a deciliter of water. Sometimes you can also add some olive oil to the mixture. To get the saline solution into your nose, you can use a special nasal rinse or a plastic syringe. Both the jug and the syringe are available at pharmacies.

Do not use the nasal spray for more than 10 days

Do not use the non-prescription nasal spray for more than 10 consecutive days. The spray can cause you to become more stuffy in the nose instead. When you stop, you may feel even more stuffy in the nose for a few days before releasing it. 


At the health center, you will be told about your problems and how they appear. The doctor will then check if the trouble is due to an infection of the throat, ears or sinuses. Often, the doctor will also examine your nose to see if you have nasal polyps.   

You can also do an allergy examination to see if the trouble is due to any type of allergy.

Treatment of vasomotor rhinitis

Your doctor may prescribe another type of nasal spray that will stabilize the mucous membranes of your nose if you have long-term problems. It often causes it to drain less from the nose.

What happens in the body?

Vasomotor rhinitis is due to the mucous membranes in the nose becoming extra sensitive. It can be difficult to know why they have become so. The trouble can start after a cold or after you have been exposed to smoke or other substances in the air that you breathe.

Vasomotor rhinitis almost always starts at adulthood. The problems often disappear over the years

Nasal congestion may be due to allergy

Nasal congestion may also be due to allergies. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis are very similar. However, people with vasomotor rhinitis often do not have eye symptoms, which is common in allergies.

Sometimes nasal congestion is due to nasal polyps

Another reason for nasal congestion is nasal polyps. There are small growths on the mucous membranes of the nose that can make you feel stuffy in your nose for a long time. 

Clogged nose during pregnancy

It is common to have nasal congestion during pregnancy, as the mucous membranes swell.

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