Feature Article

Management of patients with rhinitis

Gillian Dunlop



Having a blocked, stuffy or runny nose can cause much discomfort and frustration. GPs are well placed to help patients with these symptoms, both in identifying their causes and in determining their appropriate treatment.

Key Points

  • Rhinitis may seem a trivial entity but it results in frustration and discomfort.
  • Rhinitis may be classified as allergic, infective, structural or mixed.
  • Seasonal allergic rhinitis is best treated by oral antihistamines or nasal corticosteroid sprays.
  • Perennial rhinitis is best treated by nasal corticosteroid sprays.
  • Chronic infective rhinosinusitis is best treated by clindamycin, prednisone and saline douching. Surgery for this condition is reserved for those failing maximal medical therapy.