Non-allergic rhinitis is an extremely frustrating sino-nasal disorder that is characterized by all the same symptoms of sinusitis and allergies, but not due to sinusitis or allergies. Rather, non-allergic rhinitis is considered to be a nose that is overly-sensitive to air containing particulates whether it be smoke, hairspray, perfume, dust, pollen, etc. A total of 9,646 telephone interviews were conducted between February and April 2001. Self-awareness of allergic rhinitis was reported by 19% of the subjects. In step two, 725 clinical assessments were conducted between May and August 2001. A total of 411 of patients, who underwent step two, had investigator-confirmed allergic rhinitis. Prevalence of subjects with clinically confirmable allergic rhinitis estimated by combining step one and step two data ranged from 17% in Italy to 29% in Belgium with an overall value of 23%
In any case, a normal CT scan and normal allergy testing in a setting of sino-nasal problems is highly suggestive of non-allergic rhinitis and treatment geared towards this diagnosis should be pursued. Patients whose condition is refractory to medical therapy may seek additional treatment. Intranasal examination may demonstrate a deviated septum and/or pronounced turbinate hypertrophy. Many surgical techniques are available to treat inferior turbinate hypertrophy, including submucous resection with or without outfracture, cryotherapy, laser cauterization, electrocauterization, and/or turbinectomy. A randomized control trial of 382 patients with 6-year follow-up was conducted to evaluate submucous resection with lateral displacement (outfracture) in terms of efficacy and complications, and found outcomes to be statistically better than turbinectomy, laser or cryotherapy, or electrocautery.