Perennial non-allergic rhinitis (PNAR) refers to an inflammation and irritation of the lining of the nose that is not caused by an allergic reaction or nasal allergies, but by a variety of environmental irritants including smoke, strong odors, changes in temperature or air pressure, and pollution. It is estimated that nearly 20 million American adults and children have non-allergic rhinitis.
Symptoms typically include nasal congestion, which may be associated with a runny nose and post-nasal drip without itching, throughout the year. PNAR affects nearly 35 million people in the U.S. and can be difficult to distinguish from seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) or perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR) making it challenging to diagnose and manage.
Many people treat their nasal symptoms with antihistamines yet they suffer from PNAR alone or in combination with allergic rhinitis. Non-sedating antihistamines are not approved to treat all three types of rhinitis. Not all nasal allergy medicines are approved to treat nasal symptoms caused by PNAR. Make sure you speak with your doctor about which type of rhinitis you have and which medication is best for you.
SOURCE: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care. First created 2004.
© Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) Editorial Board