If your nose starts to run shortly after eating or drinking something, you may assume that you are having an allergic reaction. This isn't always the case, and you may be suffering from gustatory rhinitis. Here are three things you need to know about gustatory rhinitis.
What are the signs of gustatory rhinitis?
If you have gustatory rhinitis, your nose will start to run within a few minutes of consuming certain foods or drinks. It can affect one or both nostrils and is generally triggered by hot or spicy foods and drinks. For example, your nose may start to run after you take a sip of hot coffee or after you eat a spicy taco.
The only symptom of gustatory rhinitis is a runny nose. You will not have a stuffed up nose or pain in your face, and you will not sneeze or become itchy. However, your runny nose may still make you think that you have an allergy to whatever you eat or drink before the symptoms started.
Is gustatory rhinitis an allergy?
Gustatory rhinitis is not considered to be an allergic reaction, though since the symptoms can be similar, your allergist may need to perform testing to determine if you are allergic to certain foods or if you are suffering from gustatory rhinitis.
Familiar allergy test like skin prick tests or blood tests can be used to see if you are allergic to the foods that have triggered the nasal symptoms; if these tests come back negative, then your allergist will know that you do not have an allergy and instead are suffering from gustatory rhinitis.
How is gustatory rhinitis treated?
Many medications are available to treat the symptoms of gustatory rhinitis. Your allergist may prescribe an anticholinergic drug such as ipratropium bromide. This drug is given in the form of a nasal spray, and you can expect to need to spray it inside your nose 2 to 3 times a day. Studies have shown that this medication reduces the duration of symptoms by 33%. It also decreases the severity of the symptoms by 29%.
Nasal corticosteroids can also be used to get your runny nose under control. These drugs are thought to work by reducing the hyper-responsiveness within your airway. Since these drugs only affect your nasal cavity, the serious side effects that are associated with oral corticosteroids are not a problem. At most, you will have an irritated nose or a nosebleed.
In addition to these medications, you should also try to avoid foods or drinks that trigger your nasal symptoms, though this can be difficult. Try keeping a journal of foods or drinks that have triggered your runny nose, and then avoid consuming them. However, if all hot or spicy foods or drinks trigger your symptoms, avoiding the may not be practical.
If you think you have gustatory rhinitis, make an appointment with an allergist.