Capsaicin is found in chili and hot red peppers and provides a burning sensation after eating dishes that contain these foods. Once capsaicin comes in contact with the skin and mucous membranes, the pain sensors in the body are stimulated which triggers the distinctive symptoms of stinging, burning and sensation of heat.
Throughout the years, capsaicin has various applications such as an herbal supplement, spice, topical pain medication and even as a self-defense weapon. In addition, it is also used as a nasal spray to manage the effects of non-allergic rhinitis.
How capsaicin works
Capsaicin is an active component in various over-the-counter topical pain medications that are utilized in managing pain linked with diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis and post-herpetic neuralgia.
Take note that capsaicin focuses on the nerve fibers responsible for transmitting pain. This reduces the amount of substance P which is the chemical that instructs the nervous system to signal pain. If topical capsaicin is used, the amount of substance P is reduced, thus lessening the capability of the body to perceive pain at the area it was applied.
Close look on non-allergic rhinitis
When it comes to non-allergic rhinitis, it is a lingering nasal condition that is not triggered by allergies. The condition causes symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion, postnasal drip and sinus pressure. The prevalent form of non-allergic rhinitis is vasomotor rhinitis that is triggered by the erratic response of the nervous system in the nose to the presence of irritant stimuli such as changes in temperature and humidity as well as strong odors.
Can I use capsaicin for managing non-allergic rhinitis?
At the present, the use of capsaicin nasal sprays is being studied for the management of non-allergic rhinitis. In a study, there was an evident improvement in the symptoms over a span of the 2-week treatment period especially sinus pressure, nasal congestion, headache and sinus pain.
Most of these symptoms rapidly improved within a minute of using the capsaicin nasal spray. The side effects were considered minimal and limited to the mild stinging sensation that lasts for a short period.
It is important to note that capsaicin is considered as an all-natural, non-drug alternative in managing non-allergic rhinitis. This medication is safe and effective in dealing with different nasal symptoms especially sinus pressure and nasal congestion due to vasomotor rhinitis. Even though it is beneficial for managing allergic rhinitis, there are not yet enough studies to supports its use for the condition.
Other alternative treatment options
There are other treatment options that are effective in managing non-allergic rhinitis. Several traditional therapies for allergies such as allergy shots and oral antihistamines are not suitable for the symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis.
The medications that are at least partly effective include nasal antihistamine sprays, nasal steroid sprays, nasal anticholinergic sprays and even oral decongestants.