Gustatory rhinitis

Rhinology. 2010 Mar 2;48(1):7-10. doi: 10.4193/Rhin07.153.


Gustatory rhinitis is characterized by watery, uni- or bilateral rhinorrhea occurring after ingestion of solid or liquid foods, most often hot and spicy. It usually begins within a few minutes of ingestion of the implicated food, and is not associated with pruritus, sneezing, nasal congestion or facial pain. It is considered to be a non-immunological reaction. Immunohistological and pharmacological observations suggest that this disease is most likely caused by stimulation of trigeminal sensory nerve endings located at the upper aerodigestive track. Recent evidence suggests that sensory nerve stimulations could be associated with a parasympathetic reflex and activation of cholinergic muscarinic receptors, sensitive to atropine. There are various types of gustatory rhinitis, including age-related, posttraumatic, postsurgical and associated with cranial nerve neuropathy. Avoidance of the implicated foods, is the first treatment option, but it is rarely sufficient. The intranasal topical administration of anticholinergic agents such as atropine, either prophylactically or therapeutically has been shown effective. Surgical therapy in the form of posterior nasal nerve resection or vidian nerve neurectomy is not recommended because of its short lasting result and frequent unpleasant side effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Food
  • Humans
  • Parasympathetic Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Rhinitis / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis / physiopathology*
  • Spices
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Trigeminal Nerve / physiopathology