Vasomotor Rhinitis (VMR)

Vasomotor rhinitis (VMR) is a condition that causes swelling of the blood vessels that line the nose. This swelling results in nasal congestion and causes the mucus glands in the nose to overwork, leading to excessive drainage. VMR can occur at any age, but development is more common as individuals get older.

Common triggers of vasomotor rhinitis include: 

  • Changes in temperature, barometric pressure, or humidity. 
  • Strong odors such as perfumes, colognes, smoke, and dust. 
  • Consuming spicy food, drinking alcohol, and eating in general. 


VMR symptoms - nasal congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip - are very similar to allergy symptoms. Like allergies, symptoms of VMR can also be more noticeable in the spring and fall because of the changes in temperature and humidity that occur.

 Individuals with VMR frequently experience less sneezing and itching than those with rhinitis caused solely by allergies. Some people have both conditions, which can aggravate one another when they occur simultaneously. Even though these two conditions can develop at once, it’s important to understand that VMR is a nonspecific response to changes or impurities in the air, while allergic rhinitis (or hay fever) is a response to a specific protein in pollen, dust, mold, or animal dander.


Since the symptoms of VMR are very similar to allergies, getting an accurate diagnosis is very important. This starts with a comprehensive evaluation of your medical history and an extensive exam of your nasal passages and throat. Allergen skin testing may also be recommended to see if there is an allergic component or to rule out allergies as a cause of symptoms.

Four Steps to Relief

  1. Planning Your First Visit

    Schedule an appointment at your local office and fill out our pre-registration and medical history forms to help minimize any wait time when you arrive.

  2. Your First Visit

    Your initial visit will consist of a consultation, review of your medical history and a comprehensive exam to build a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs.

  3. Diagnostics and Testing

    We may complete one or more tests to better understand the cause of your symptoms. Common tests include skin testing, pulmonary testing, and blood testing.

  4. Treatment

    Following the evaluation and testing, we’ll provide a comprehensive diagnosis and implement a personalized treatment plan that will deliver relief.


While there is no specific cure for VMR, medication and lifestyle changes can help manage your  symptoms. Since many have a combination of Vasomotor rhinitis and allergies, management of allergies will often influence medical treatment recommendations. 

Additionally, your allergist may recommend any of the following methods to help you find relief from your symptoms:

  • Immediate cessation of smoking and avoidance of secondhand smoke to reduce nasal drainage. 
  • Over-the-counter nasal saline spray or mist, which can be used as often as needed to soothe the nose and loosen any thick mucus. 
  • Nasal steroid sprays, nasal antihistamine sprays, or nasal anticholinergic agents. These can greatly decrease the amount of drainage produced from mucus glands within the nose. 
  • Oral decongestants, which can also be used to dry up watery drainage or relieve nasal congestion. However, these are generally used sparingly, since they may cause insomnia or increase heart rate and/or blood pressure, particularly in elderly individuals.

The Allergy Partners Difference 

At Allergy Partners, we will determine whether your nasal congestion symptoms are caused by allergies, vasomotor rhinitis, or another condition by conducting targeted allergy testing and closely evaluating your medical history. With this information, we can provide you with a personalized care plan to deliver long-term relief.

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