Article written by Dr. Samuel “Ross” Patton
Is your nose frequently drippy or congested? Do you take tissues with you everywhere you go? Do you need to blow your nose while eating or exercising? If the answer to these questions is yes, you may be like the other 14 million Americans who suffer from a condition known as vasomotor rhinitis. Typical symptoms include watery nasal drainage, frequent nose blowing, nasal congestion and post-nasal drip. These symptoms are often made worse by eating, exercise or change in atmospheric pressure. Sometimes mistaken for an allergy problem, vasomotor rhinitis does not typically improve with use of allergy medications such as antihistamine tablets and nasal steroid sprays.
Vasomotor rhinitis occurs when the mucous glands within the nose become overactive from too much nerve stimulation. These glands generate a large amount of clear mucus. The exact reason this occurs is not well understood, but it tends to happen more frequently to people when they get into their 60s and beyond. Treatment for vasomotor rhinitis used to only be possible with certain prescription nasal sprays. Recently, minimally invasive cryo-ablation procedures have been developed, which take 10 minutes to do in the office. The nerve that stimulates overproduction of mucus is frozen (like a dermatologist might freeze a wart), leading to a long term decrease in nasal drainage.
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