“Rhinitis” simply means having a runny nose. 

“Post nasal drip” is when it runs down the back of your nose into your throat, instead of out the front of your nose, causing you to have to clear your throat frequently.


If the runny nose has been present for only a few days, it is generally an infection (like a cold virus). When it lasts over a month, and often from childhood on, there are several key causes:


This is usually associated with sneezing and clear or white nasal mucus. If it usually recurs for the same few months each year, this also suggests grass or pollen allergies (e.g., grass pollen in spring time and ragweed pollen, called “hay fever,” in autumn).  If it is year round, allergies to cats and dogs, dust, or molds are common triggers.

Children will also often have what is called the “allergic salute,” where they often rub the bottom of their nose with their fingers.  They may also have "allergic shiners," which are dark circles under the eyes that resemble mild bruises from a black eye.

Chronic yeast/Candida overgrowth in the nose or sinuses

Doctors ignore the research on this and continue to make believe there is no such thing, treating sinusitis with antibiotics — which, of course, worsens the yeast overgrowth in the sinuses and makes the sinusitis become chronic (persistent). (See Sinusitis for more on this.) Candida is also a very common cause of post nasal drip.

Vasomotor rhinitis

This is an autonomic disorder (not dangerous, but a nuisance), where cold feet hitting the floor in the morning (or later in the day) can trigger a runny nose — so keep a pair of slippers by your bedside. Smells, smoke and other triggers are also common. Gustatory rhinitis is when this is triggered after eating (especially spicy foods).

Rhinitis medicamentosa

This is caused by the chronic use of over the counter decongestant nose sprays. As they wear off, they cause “rebound swelling.”


Therapies & Advice

For chronic sinusitis

Review information on sinusitis as the potential cause.

For allergic rhinitis

For allergic rhinitis, consider a special acupressure technique called "NAET." This eliminated my decades long hay fever in 20 minutes!

For dust allergies

For dust allergies, your allergist can give a very helpful treatment for your carpets which will kill the dust mites (which cause the allergy), and plastic covers for your pillows and mattresses can trap the dust.

For vasomotor and gustatory rhinitis

For vasomotor and gustatory rhinitis, the prescription nose spray Ipratropium (Atrovent) can be very helpful and is low in side effects (but may aggravate glaucoma or slow urination).

Recommended Supplements


The supplement MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) 3,000-10,000+ mg a day often settles down many allergies after 2-6 weeks of use (at which time the dose can often be lowered).

Other Therapies & Advice

Sinusitis nose spray

I recommend the holistic “Sinusitis Nose Spray” by prescription (from ITC Pharmacy at 888-349-5453). After 1 week, it will often settle down allergic rhinitis or rhinitis from over the counter nasal sprays. It is wonderful for most chronic sinusitis, especially when combined with other Candida treatments.

Allergy skin testing

Allergy skin testing and shots can also help with persistent and severe allergic rhinitis (I would do NAET first — much simpler and less expensive).  Over the counter antihistamines like Claritin during the day (not sedating) or Benadryl at night (sedating) are also OK.

More Information Online

NAET (acupressure technique for treating food allergies)


About Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. is a board certified internist and author of the popular free iPhone application “Cures A-Z,” which was ranked in the top 10 of all health/wellness downloads on iTunes. Dr.

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