oa South African Medical Journal - The approach to vasomotor rhinitis*

Volume 24, Issue 21
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



*This paper was read at the Medical Congress of the Association held at Cape Town in September 1949. Vasomotor rhinitis is a condition in which the characteristic symptoms are paroxysmal attacks of sneezing, nasal obstruction and a profuse watery mucoid discharge without constitutional symptoms. The important signs in the nose and paranasal sinuses include a pale, oedematous, moist, hyperaesthetic mucous membrane sometimes hypertrophied to the stage of polyp formation and often with eosinophile cells in the nasal secretion. The condition is etiologically classified into (a) Seasonal allergic vasomotor rhinitis or hay-fever associated with the inhalation of poll ens, (b) Perennial or non-seasonal allergic vasometer rhinitis associated with the inhalation or ingestion of a variety of substances to which the patient has an allergic sensitivity, (c) Intrinsic vasomotor rhinitis where xhaustive investigations have failed to expose an allergic basis but which is possibly associated with the emotional make-up of the patient and based probably on endocrine dysfunction. The approach to the diagnosis - and treatment of the different varieties of vasomotor rhinitis is discussed and a plea is made for the condition, especially intrinsic vasomotor rhinitis, to be regarded not as a local nasal disease, but as a general disturbance of the psychological pattern of the patient in whom the nasal symptoms are the predominant ones.

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