VIRAL RHINITIS (COMMON COLD)

This is one of the most common infectious diseases in humans. It is mostly referred to as “catarrh”. It is the irritation and inflammation of some internal areas of the nose due to viruses. Rhinitis may also be caused by bacteria or irritants. Rhinitis can also affect the throat and eyes. Viral rhinitis is a mild infection that improves on its own. Its symptoms may last for about a week.

Causes of Viral Rhinitis

Rhinitis may be caused by:

  1. Viral infections such as flu
  2. Pollen from trees, grass and weed
  3. Hash environmental factors like smoke, concentrated smells like perfumes and pollution
  4. Eating hot or spicy foods
  5. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menstruation, etc. may be a causative factor
  6. Inhalation of dust and animal hair

Mode of Transmission of Viral Rhinitis

Common cold is mostly transmitted by direct contact with droplets from someone who is infected, and contact with germs from the nose or mouth.

Signs and Symptoms of Viral Rhinitis

Signs and symptoms of viral rhinitis includes:

  1. Running nose or Nose dripping
  2. Itchy nose
  3. Sore throat
  4. Copious mucous secretion
  5. Burning nasal mucosa
  6. Red, burning, teary eyes
  7. Sneezing
  8. Pale, boggy nasal mucosa
  9. Cough
  10. Headache
  11. Slight loss of smell or taste

Diagnosis of Viral Rhinitis

Diagnosis of viral rhinitis is based on symptoms. Certain laboratory tests can also be carried out to rule out allergic reactions. Some diagnostic procedures of Rhinitis include:

  1. Skin Test: This is carried out by pricking the skin and exposing that part to some amounts of common allergens such as pollen or dust mites. If the client is allergic to a particular allergen, the skin will have a raised bump. If the client is not allergic, the skin will look normal.
  2. Blood Test: The blood can be tested for evidence of sensitivity to specific allergens which will show elevated serum IgE if positive.
  3. Nasal Endoscopy: This is carried out to examine nasal passages and sinuses.
  4. CT Scan: This procedure produces images of sinuses and detects any deviation from normal.

Management of Viral Rhinitis

  1. Administer antihistamines decongestant such as Allegra-D or Antihistamine nasal sprays such as Azelastine or Olopatadine to help reduce symptoms.
  2. Corticosteroid nasal sprays such as Fluticasone or Triamcinolone may be prescribed to treat irritation and itching.
  3. Immunotherapy for clients with specific inhalant allergens like house dust and pollens which is unavoidable.
  4. Teach client the proper use of nasal spray by blowing his nose first before administering the nasal medication.
  5. Encourage a routine cleansing of the house, furniture and equipment which can house dust and other pollens.
  6. Proper hygiene (activities of daily living such as hand hygiene, bathing and oral hygiene) is encouraged.
  7. Carefully dispose all used tissue papers.
  8. Avoid prolonged stay with people who have common cold.
  9. Drink enough fluids to stay hydrated.
  10. Ensure adequate rest.
  11. Gargling with warm salt water can help relief the symptoms of sore throat.
  12. Inhaling steam may help to relief nasal congestion.

Complications of Viral Rhinitis

Rhinitis can lead to:

  1. Nasal polyp: This is a soft noncancerous growth that develop on the lining of the nose as a result of chronic inflammation of the nasal mucosa.
  2. Sinusitis: This is the infection or inflammation of the mucous membrane of one or more paranasal sinus.

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