2 The condition, current treatments and procedure

2 The condition, current treatments and procedure

The condition

2.1 Rhinitis is inflammation and swelling of the mucous membrane inside the nose. Chronic nasal inflammation lasts over a long period of time, usually longer than 12 weeks. Common symptoms include sneezing, itchiness, and a stuffy or runny nose. There are 3 main types of rhinitis: allergic rhinitis, infectious rhinitis, and non-allergic, non-infectious rhinitis.

Current treatments

2.2 Treating rhinitis depends on the specific cause or diagnosis. Treatment options include:

  • non-pharmacological treatments (such as avoiding triggers and using environmental controls)

  • pharmacological treatments (such as steroid nasal sprays and oral antihistamines)

  • surgery (such as posterior nasal neurectomy).

The procedure

2.3 This procedure is done under local anaesthesia. A probe is inserted into the nasal cavity, and its balloon tip is placed endoscopically in the posterior middle meatus. Once the tip is in contact with the targeted tissue over the branches of the posterior nasal nerve, nitrous oxide cryogen is released through the tip from the canister. This freezes the targeted mucosal tissue, with the aim of ablating the posterior nasal nerve. Cryogen is delivered for 30 to 60 seconds and the contralateral side is treated the same way if needed.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)