Chronic Rhinitis Symptoms

Updated June 13, 2017

Chronic rhinitis is a persistent inflammation of the nose that occurs in two types, which include non-allergic rhinitis and allergic rhinitis, which is also referred to as hay fever. People with chronic rhinitis have symptoms that last for several weeks to several months or longer, and the condition is diagnosed by a physician such as an allergist or an ear, nose and throat specialist. Consider this information derived from the Mayo Clinic and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology about the symptoms of chronic rhinitis.


People with chronic rhinitis may experience nasal or sinus congestion, which can persist for several weeks or longer. The congestion can lead to difficulty resting and sleeping at night as well as disruption and loss of productivity during the day. Congestion caused by chronic rhinitis that is left untreated can lead to ear infections and possible hearing loss.

Difficulty Breathing

People with chronic rhinitis may experience difficulty breathing, especially when lying down or while performing exercise or physical activity. Chronic rhinitis may lead to asthma in some people, especially those who have other risk factors for asthma such as smoking or premature birth. Chronic rhinitis may also cause painful breathing and can trigger bouts of coughing when people attempt to take a deep breath.


Chronic rhinitis that is caused by allergies may cause frequent or persistent itching. People may experience itchy eyes and throats, which may be made worse by medications such as decongestants that are sometimes used to treat rhinitis. People may also develop itching of the nose and nasal passages, which can trigger fits of sneezing and nosebleeds.


Chronic rhinitis may cause people to develop an excessive amount of mucus in the throat, which is also referred to as phlegm. This mucus can lead to difficulty speaking and swallowing, and may cause people to need to clear their throats frequently. People may also experience a loss of taste and smell as a result of mucus production caused by chronic rhinitis.


People with chronic rhinitis may experience painful swallowing and a sore throat due to inflammation caused by postnasal drip. Swelling of the sinuses and nasal passages can lead to facial tenderness and pain in people with rhinitis. People with chronic rhinitis may also experience earaches due to a build-up of fluid and mucus in the sinuses and Eustachian tubes.

Runny Nose

People who have chronic rhinitis may have a drippy or runny nose, with clear, thin excretions. These excretions may also run down the back of the throat, especially at night time. People with chronic rhinitis may also have watery eyes and may wake up with dried secretions on the eyelids and eyelashes in the morning.

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About the Author

Jessica Lietz has been writing about health-related topics since 2009. She has several years of experience in genetics research, survey design, analysis and epidemiology, working on both infectious and chronic diseases. Lietz holds a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from The Ohio State University.