Rhinitis-like conditions, runny nose
The manifestations of a rhinitis-like condition (runny nose), as well as issues of its treatment, are well known. The concept of "runny nose" has no strictly defined boundaries in everyday life. One patient speaks of a runny nose if he has a stuffy nose, another - with profuse nasal discharge, a third, on the contrary, considers insufficient discharge a sign of a runny nose, and a fourth thinks that he has a runny nose if he sneezes several times in a row.
None of these symptoms in itself give grounds to speak of acute rhinitis, they are not at all important for diagnosis and therapy. The patency of the nose can be impaired for various reasons, and its congestion may increase for a short time, which is often regarded as a runny nose. In many people, especially those suffering from hypertrophy of the inferior turbinate, swelling of the nasal mucosa is possible with a change in temperature, alcohol consumption, olfactory irritation, or under the influence of other reasons, and this should not be mistaken for a picture of a cold.
A banal runny nose means a catarrhal condition of swelling of the mucous membrane of the upper respiratory tract, often of an infectious origin, with a certain cyclical (for at least several days) course. The occurrence of a cold is usually associated with a cold, less often with the influence of mechanical (dust) or chemical irritants. The contagiousness of the common cold has not been proven - experimental transmission from one person to another fails. It was not possible to find the causative agent of the common cold, although many known bacteria (pneumococcus, etc.) can cause its clinical symptoms.
Some diseases (influenza, SARS, measles, scarlet fever, diphtheria) in the initial period occur with symptoms characteristic of the common cold.
In people with high sensitivity, the urge to sneeze occurs, as soon as a small amount of dust gets into the nose (for example, when flipping through a book), in others - when exposed parts of the body are cooled with a stream of air, in others - when the eyes are sharply irritated by any strong light source ... All these conditions, almost exclusively of a vasomotor or reflex nature, soon disappear. The phenomena accompanying acute rhinitis persist for several days.
Prevention of a common cold is reduced by water procedures, air baths, which affect the outer skin.
As for the habituation of the nasal mucosa to cold or warm irritations for so-called hardening (nasal showers, infusion, injection, inhalation, etc.), then such procedures have just a harmful effect. On the one hand, they pose a danger to the ears, even if carried out with the observance of all precautions, and on the other hand, they limit the bactericidal properties of the nasal mucosa by quickly washing it off. Epithelial cells of the nasal mucosa are also destroyed by water.
The above effects should be especially wary of in children. In case of a predisposition to coryza attacks, a nasal examination is necessary. With the elimination of the detected anomalies (for example, hypertrophy of the mucous membrane, polyps, adenoid enlargements in children), this dangerous tendency to runny nose disappears.
Rhinitis-like conditions and runny nose treatment
Speaking about the treatment of the common cold, first of all, it should be noted that there is no causal treatment. Many people find it helpful to stay outdoors even in winter to treat a cold. However, cold air does not help to shorten the process, and if it is, moreover, damp and mobile, it causes extremely harmful irritation. An even, calm warmth will most quickly lead to a cure for the coryza. For some chronic nasal lesions, exposure to air is appropriate.
Treatment should be symptomatic, aimed at easing subjective complaints and preventing complications. If a runny nose is accompanied by a fever, the patient is put to bed and given some antipyretic drug 2-3 times a day. Pathogenetic treatment is also carried out, which favorably affects the patient's well-being.
There are many remedies to combat nasal congestion, but it should be borne in mind that any drug that shrinks the swollen cavernous tissue of the nasal mucosa also causes irritation, which should be mitigated if possible. With a runny nose, one should avoid harsh means (smoking tobacco), inhalation of powders, warm vapors, which is associated with increased hyperemia of the mucous membrane.
Menthol oil with a cold is used several times a day while lying down. You can pour a few drops into your nose using a spoon or dropper, or insert a cotton swab moistened with oil into your nose. By pressing the wings of the nose, they ensure that the oil from the tampon is distributed over the back of the lower part of the nose.
With a runny nose, remedies are also used in ointments (1-2%), best of all is a mixture of lanolin and petroleum jelly, which is smeared with the front of the nose with the index finger or a brush. If it is necessary for some time to relieve the patient of the painful pressure in the head and to make the nose passable (this happens with singers, artists, business people), a weak solution of cocaine is instilled with the addition of a few drops of adrenaline.
After an acute period of a cold, when the stage of increased secretion is too prolonged, careful lubrication with a 2% solution of silver nitrate is appropriate. A complication of acute rhinitis can be the spread of the inflammatory process to the mucous membrane of the pharynx, larynx, and deeper parts of the respiratory tract, to the sinuses, and, finally, to the auditory tubes, middle ear. Only measures that ensure the patient's peace of mind can prevent such a course of the process, but this is precisely what is difficult to achieve since a runny nose is not recognized as a serious disease. If a patient with a runny nose cannot stay in bed, he should at least restrict movement, go to bed on time, avoid strong drinks, and refrain from smoking.