Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Rhinitis: Care Instructions
Facebook Tweet Email Share

Main Content

Rhinitis: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Rhinitis is swelling and irritation in the nose. Allergies and infections are often the cause. Your nose may run or feel stuffy. Other symptoms are itchy and sore eyes, ears, throat, and mouth.

If allergies are the cause, your doctor may do tests to find out what you are allergic to. You may be able to stop symptoms if you avoid the things that cause them. Your doctor may suggest or prescribe medicine to ease your symptoms.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your rhinitis is caused by allergies, try to find out what sets off (triggers) your symptoms. Take steps to avoid these triggers.
    • Avoid yard work. It can stir up both pollen and mould.
    • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke around you. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.
    • Do not use aerosol sprays, cleaning products, or perfumes.
    • If pollen is one of your triggers, close your house and car windows during blooming season.
    • Clean your house often to control dust.
    • Keep pets outside.
  • If your doctor recommends over-the-counter medicines to relieve symptoms, take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse call line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Use saline (saltwater) nasal washes to help keep your nasal passages open and wash out mucus and bacteria. You can buy saline nose drops at a grocery store or drugstore. Or you can make your own at home by adding 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to 2 cups of distilled water. If you make your own, fill a bulb syringe with the solution, insert the tip into your nostril, and squeeze gently. Blow your nose.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are having trouble breathing.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Mucus from your nose gets thicker (like pus) or has new blood in it.
  • You have new or worse symptoms.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter M030 in the search box to learn more about "Rhinitis: Care Instructions".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.