Allergy, Nose & Sinus

Debunking Common Myths About Rhinitis and its Treatment Options

January 17, 2024
Women Sitting on Couch Blowing Her Nose on a Tissue

Rhinitis is a common ailment affecting people in Singapore and around the globe. More than just a runny nose or occasional sneezing, it encompasses a spectrum of symptoms, from nasal congestion and itching to postnasal drip and fatigue. 

Join us as we delve into the truths and untruths surrounding rhinitis, and how visiting an ENT clinic in Singapore helps. Whether you are grappling with rhinitis yourself or seeking valuable insights for a loved one, this exploration aims to empower you with accurate information. 


Myth 1: Rhinitis is always caused by allergies

While allergic rhinitis commonly caused by pollen, dust mites, or pet dander is prevalent, there are non-allergic forms triggered by various factors. Environmental irritants like smoke, pollution, weather changes, or strong odours can also be culprits. 

Dismissing symptoms as solely an allergic response might lead to misinformed treatment choices. Thus, understanding the specific cause is important for a more precise and tailored approach to address the root cause of symptoms.


Myth 2: The only treatment for rhinitis is over-the-counter antihistamines

Treatment For Rhinitis Is Over The-Counter Antihistamines

When contemplating how to clear a blocked nose caused by rhinitis, many individuals commonly turn to antihistamines as a go-to solution. This common misconception suggests a one-size-fits-all solution to rhinitis but the truth extends beyond the confines of this singular approach. 

Learn more: 4 Lifestyle Habits That Will Keep Blocked Nose at Bay

Allergic rhinitis treatment encompasses antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, and decongestants that provide short-term relief by reducing inflammation and congestion. For patients who do not respond well to nasal steroid sprays or those who are not keen to be dependant on them,  treatment options such as surgery and sublingual immunotherapy may be needed. It is a long-term solution that involves desensitising the body to allergens, addressing the root cause rather than just alleviating symptoms.


Myth 3: Rhinitis is not a serious condition

Rhinitis might not be life-threatening but this misconception often downplays the significance of the condition and its impact on one’s overall health. 

Chronic rhinitis can manifest in various ways, significantly affecting an individual’s quality of life. For instance, persistent nasal symptoms can lead to chronic fatigue, disrupt normal sleep patterns, and contribute to decreased productivity. The consequences of untreated rhinitis extend beyond mere nasal discomfort, influencing broader aspects of physical and mental well-being. Uncontrolled severe chronic rhinitis can potentially lead to recurrent sinusitis, snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea as well as poorer asthma control.


Myth 4: Rhinitis only affects adults

Asian Boy With The Flu

Rhinitis is not limited to adults and children can also experience this nasal condition. Unlike adults, children may have difficulty expressing their discomfort, making it essential for parents and caregivers to be vigilant about recognising signs of rhinitis in younger individuals.

Paediatric rhinitis, often caused by allergies, infections, or environmental factors, requires special attention and tailored management strategies. This may involve age-appropriate medications, environmental modifications, and close communication with healthcare professionals.


Breathe Easy, Live Better

By debunking myths and embracing the truths of rhinitis, we pave the way for clearer nasal passages, improved quality of life, and a heightened sense of well-being.

If you are in Singapore and dealing with rhinitis, visit an ENT clinic for the appropriate treatment early. Dr Gan Eng Cern is a fellowship-trained ENT surgeon who treats a wide range of conditions including rhinitis and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. He is committed to performing a thorough assessment and to formulating the right treatment plan for your nose condition.


Get in touch with us to find out more.

    When Should You See an ENT Specialist in Singapore?

    • Any ear, nose or throat symptoms that you are troubled with or concerned about
    • Persistent blocked nose with mouth breathing or snoring

    Dr Gan Eng Cern

    Dr Gan Eng Cern is a distinguished ENT doctor with fellowship training. In addition to his clinical practice as an ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore, Dr. Gan has contributed to the academic field as a Senior Clinical Lecturer at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. He is recognised for his extensive research work, with numerous contributions to reputable international ENT journals. Dr Gan is also highly sought after as a speaker and has shared his surgical knowledge as a surgical dissection teacher at various prominent ENT conferences and courses.


    • 2020 – Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best ENT Specialist (Expat Living Singapore)
    • 2016 – Best Educator Award (Eastern Health Alliance)
    • 2016 – “Wow” Award (Patient Compliment)
    • 2014 – Eastern Health Alliance Caring Award – Silver
    • 2014 – 19th Yahya Cohen Memorial Lectureship (awarded by the College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine Singapore for best scientific surgical paper)
    • 2012 – Human Manpower Development Award (Ministry of Health, Singapore)
    • 2007 – Singhealth Best Doctor Award


    • MBBS – Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
    • MRCS (Edin) – Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    • MMed (ORL) – Master of Medicine in ENT (National University of Singapore)
    • FAMS – Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Singapore

    Why Choose Dr Gan Eng Cern


    Reliable & Reputable ENT Expert

    Experienced and patient ENT Specialist who has your best interests at heart. We aim to provide you with accessible and specialized care for any ENT condition in a comfortable setting.


    Friendly & Helpful Clinic Staff

    Our friendly staff will assist you to the best of our ability and we are happy to accept most insurance providers and assist with E-filing with relevant insurance providers or Medisave.


    Advanced ENT Equipment & Fully Equipped Facility

    Our ENT Specialist, Dr Gan Eng Cern, will be able to diagnose and offer personalised treatments for your specific ENT condition. You can expect a high level of ENT care in a spacious setting with in-house minor surgical, endoscopy, allergy testing and microscopy services.


    Financial Options

    There are various financial options available for you to ensure that you are able to receive the most optimal treatment and care. Our ENT clinic staff will be able to assist you with your medical insurance claims and work with your chosen healthcare organization to minimize the hassle and paperwork required. In some cases, you may be able to utilise the funds in your Medisave account to defray part of the costs of your treatment. As our clinic is accredited by the Medisave board, we are able to process your claims from your Medisave for certain clinic procedures.

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