Chronic Rhinitis Treatment San Diego, CA | Silenso Clinic
Affecting between 5-12% of the U.S. population, chronic rhinitis contributes to significant economic loss and personal suffering each year.
Triggered by environmental and genetic factors, chronic rhinitis prevents people from breathing correctly, inhibits the patient’s sense of smell and taste, and can lead to headaches, ear pain, sore throats, nasal discharge, and bad breath.
Fortunately, advances in modern medical technology are providing reliable treatments for rhinitis.
Here, Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe, an industry-leading board-certified otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist), discusses the various treatments for chronic rhinitis. Silenso Clinic is dedicated to providing patients with a premium experience by offering top-quality care and office-based, minimally-invasive procedures.
If you or a loved one is experiencing chronic rhinitis, then reach out to Dr. Schalch Lepe at (858) 925-5800 or fill in his contact form to arrange your consultation in San Diego today. Silenso Clinic is located in Carmel Valley in North San Diego County and serves many communities throughout the greater San Diego area, including La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Coronado, Eastlake, Chula Vista, and more.
Specializing in the treatment of a variety of conditions (deviated septum, nasal obstruction, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.), Dr. Schalch Lepe is highly qualified and motivated to provide his patients with the best possible treatment results. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation.
Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has the unique perspective of having trained in multiple countries. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California.
What is Chronic Rhinitis?
Rhinitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane inside your nose. The most common form of rhinitis is allergic rhinitis, which causes inflammation in response to allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, and pollen.
Another very important form of rhinitis includes vasomotor rhinitis, which causes inflammation during or after exercise, exposure to certain smells or perfumes, or even while eating certain foods.
Lastly, there is a condition called rhinitis medicamentosa, when patients become dependent on over-the-counter decongestants (such as Afrin). While these decongestants are effective in the short term to relieve nasal congestion during a cold or upper respiratory infection, their prolonged use causes the nasal tissues to become dependent on them, and over time, more sprays are required to maintain the nasal passages open. Once the decongestant is stopped, there is rebound congestion, which is typically very severe.
The condition becomes chronic when patients experience rhinitis and rhinitis symptoms frequently, recurringly, and for prolonged periods of time.
What Causes Chronic Rhinitis?
You can develop the condition at any age and for a number of environmental or genetic reasons. You might get an infection that turns into chronic sinusitis, have growths in your sinuses, or have allergies that contribute to your condition.
The main environmental factors that cause chronic rhinitis include:
- Fine particles in the air
- Frequency of respiratory infections and asthma
- Pollen exposure
The most common genetic factor associated with chronic rhinitis is the HLA-DQ2*03 allele. This gene is responsible for reducing the harm that can be caused by an acute immune response.
If you have this allele, then you are less likely to develop chronic inflammation of the nose. The expression of this gene differs from person to person, which makes it difficult to pinpoint. Patients who lack this allele are more likely to develop chronic rhinitis.
What are the Symptoms of Chronic Rhinitis?
Symptoms of rhinitis vary, and many symptoms are secondary to problems caused by the condition and other symptoms:
- Mucus discharge and postnasal drip
- Throat drip
- Bad breath
- Trouble breathing
- Poor sleep
- Loss of smell and taste
- Ear pain and infections
- Swollen and sore jaw
These symptoms stem from nasal mucous membrane irritation, which results in the overproduction of mucus and the blocking of the passageways.
How is Chronic Rhinitis Diagnosed?
Silenso Clinic provides imaging tests and in-office, minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and manage chronic sinusitis. Your provider might use in-office computed tomography (CT) scanning to view your sinuses in a noninvasive way.
A physical examination of the nose can also reveal signs of inflammation, such as nasal polyps and enlarged blood vessels. One way to diagnose chronic rhinitis is by performing a nasal endoscopy, in which a thin endoscope with a camera is inserted into the nasal passages, allowing the doctor to examine the inside of your nose. Occasionally, allergy testing is also performed to rule out presence of environmental or perennial allergies.
If you’re experiencing returning and persistent symptoms, contact Dr. Schalch Lepe to arrange your consultation to get evaluated.
What Treatments are Available for Chronic Rhinitis?
The complex nature of chronic rhinitis makes determining and treating the condition’s root cause a priority.
As such, many treatments focus on decreasing the mucus production levels of the mucous membranes so that the patients don’t suffer congestion and related side effects.
At Silenso, we offer the following industry-leading chronic rhinitis treatments:
ClariFix uses cryotherapy, or freezing therapy with a balloon filled with liquid nitrogen, to “stun” the nerves that stimulate the glands that are responsible for the over-production of mucus. We achieve this by inserting a specialized balloon into the patient’s nose and nasal passageway to freeze the targeted location of these posterior nasal nerves.
The procedure is very safe, and there are only few side effects associated with ClariFix. Dr. Schalch Lepe performs the treatment in-office under local anesthesia, for the patient’s comfort and convenience.
RhinAer is a treatment that uses low-temperature radiofrequency energy to treat the nerves in the nasal passages that stimulate the mucous glands. By doing so, the treatment is able to prevent the over-production of mucus by reducing the stimulus in the area. This addresses the main symptoms of congestion and nasal dripping, which in turn provides significant relief for patients.
Laser technology is used for many different treatments. In treating chronic rhinitis, the Valam Laser procedure resurfaces the mucus membrane responsible for the over-production of mucus. It can also be used to treat the posterior nasal nerves that stimulate the mucous glands. This eliminates the symptoms and provides relief for those suffering from chronic rhinitis. It is a cutting-edge minimally invasive procedure that is done in the office, under local anesthesia.
Chronic Rhinitis Treatment in San Diego, CA
Rhinitis, particularly once the condition becomes chronic, will significantly impair the sufferer’s ability to lead a full and enjoyable life. Treating the condition, however, can be done with minimally invasive techniques that provide long-lasting relief.
Otolaryngologist Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe specializes in various breathing, sleep, and airway treatments (deviated septum, sinus pressure, allergies, enlarged inferior turbinates, obstructive sleep apnea, snoring), all meant to help his patients improve their quality of life by breathing better and sleeping easier. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation.
Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has been fortunate to gain unique perspectives and experience from his international training and upbringing. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California.
Ready to take control of your life once again with better breathing? Arrange your consultation today by calling (858) 925-5800 or filling out our online form. Dr. Schalch Lepe and our team look forward to meeting you soon!
San Diego Chronic Rhinitis FAQs
If left untreated for long periods, your condition can cause structural changes in the nose. For example, inflammation around the nasal lining may cause a nasal polyp. This small, benign growth can lead to further complications if left untreated, such as cysts in the nasal cavity and sinusitis. You will also continue to experience the symptoms of rhinitis, leading to decreased quality of life.
While there is no definitive treatment for chronic rhinitis, some of the new technologies and procedures can effectively control symptoms such as nasal discharge, runny nose, congestion and postnasal drip, and decrease or eliminate the need for nasal sprays.
The good news is that many people experience improvement in symptoms for months to years following their procedures. It is also important to evaluate and manage concurrent problems, such as chronic rhinitis.