The key difference between allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis is that allergic rhinitis is a type of rhinitis where the immune system is involved, while vasomotor rhinitis is a type of rhinitis where the immune system is not involved.
Rhinitis is known as the inflammation and swelling of the mucous membrane of the nose. A runny nose and stuffiness usually characterize it. It is generally categorized as allergic or non-allergic rhinitis. Vasomotor rhinitis is a type of non-allergic rhinitis.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Allergic Rhinitis
3. What is Vasomotor Rhinitis
4. Similarities – Allergic Rhinitis and Vasomotor Rhinitis
5. Allergic Rhinitis vs Vasomotor Rhinitis in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Allergic Rhinitis vs Vasomotor Rhinitis
What is Allergic Rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis is also known as hay fever. Allergic rhinitis occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to allergens such as dust mites in carpets, drapes, bedding, and furniture, pollen from trees, grass, and weeds, pet dander, mold spores, cockroaches (their saliva and waste) and specific food. The symptoms of allergic rhinitis may include nasal stuffiness, sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose, throat, and eyes, headache, sinus pain, dark circles under the eyes, increased mucus in the nose or throat, fatigue, sore throat, wheezing, coughing, and trouble breathing.
Allergic rhinitis can be diagnosed through questionnaires, skin prick tests, and blood tests called immunoglobulin E (IgE) tests. Furthermore, treatment options for allergic rhinitis may include allergic medications such as loratadine, cetirizine, fexofenadine, levocetirizine, decongestants (afrin® nasal spray, phenylephrine nasal spray, and pseudoephedrine), corticosteroid nasal spray, leukotriene inhibitors, and immunotherapy.
What is Vasomotor Rhinitis?
Vasomotor rhinitis is a type of non allergic rhinitis. It happens when the tissues inside the nose become inflamed. This causes unpleasant symptoms such as stuffy or runny nose. It does not occur as a result of exposure to allergens or viruses, and bacteria. Triggers related to the environment (a drop in temperature, air pollution, cold or dry air, perfume, cigarette smoke, paint fumes, spicy food, and stress), medicines (nasal decongestant, ACE inhibitors, NSAIDs, birth control pills, drugs for erectile dysfunction, antidepressants, and sedatives) and even hormone changes (menopause, puberty, and pregnancy) can cause vasomotor rhinitis. The symptoms of vasomotor rhinitis may include a stuffy nose, runny nose, postnasal drip, sneezing, diminished sense of smell, foul-smelling crust forming inside the nose, and bleeding when attempting to remove the crust.
Vasomotor rhinitis can be diagnosed through allergy tests, CT scans, and nasal inspiratory flow tests. Furthermore, treatment options for vasomotor rhinitis may include avoiding triggers, using a humidifier at home or at work, rinsing the nasal passages with a saline solution to clean out the nose, and prescribed medications such as decongestant nasal sprays, antihistamines nasal sprays, corticosteroid nasal sprays (fluticasone), anticholinergic nasal sprays (ipratropium bromide), and surgery for a deviated septum or nasal polyps.
What are the Similarities Between Allergic Rhinitis and Vasomotor Rhinitis?
- Allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis are two different types of rhinitis.
- Both rhinitis may cause similar features such as stuffy or runny nose.
- Both rhinitis can be diagnosed through allergy tests.
- They can be treated through specific medications such as decongestants and corticosteroid nasal sprays.
What is the Difference Between Allergic Rhinitis and Vasomotor Rhinitis?
Allergic rhinitis is a type of rhinitis where the immune system is involved, while vasomotor rhinitis is a type of rhinitis where the immune system is not involved. Thus, this is the key difference between allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis. Furthermore, allergic rhinitis is a more common type of rhinitis than vasomotor rhinitis.
The infographic below presents the differences between allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Allergic Rhinitis vs Vasomotor Rhinitis
Rhinitis is a condition that is due to the inflammation or swelling of the mucous membrane of the nose. Rhinitis has common features such as a runny nose or stuffiness. Cold and seasonal allergies normally cause it. Rhinitis is broadly categorized into two types: allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. In allergic rhinitis, the immune system is involved, while in non-allergic rhinitis immune system is not involved. Vasomotor rhinitis is a type of non allergic rhinitis. Moreover, allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergen, whereas environment, medicines, or hormonal changes cause vasomotor rhinitis. So, this summarizes the difference between allergic rhinitis and vasomotor rhinitis.
1. “Depiction of a person suffering from Allergic Rhinitis” By Myupchar.com (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Asthma comorbidities” By 7mike5000 – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia