Conditions InDepth: Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis refers to a group of symptoms—such as a runny or itchy nose, watery eyes, and sneezing—that result from inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes. A common, but inaccurate, name for this condition is hay fever. It is estimated that 40-50 million people in the United States develop allergic rhinitis during their lifetime. Allergic rhinitis precedes the onset of asthma in over 50% of cases so seeing a doctor as early as possible is recommended.
|Allergic Rhinitis With Severe Swelling of the Nasal Tissues|
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- Seasonal—Symptoms occur only at certain times of the year, usually spring, summer, and early fall. In most cases, people with seasonal allergic rhinitis are sensitive to pollens from trees, grasses, weeds, or airborne mold spores.
- Perennial—Perennial allergic rhinitis causes symptoms all year-round. People who have this form of allergic rhinitis are generally allergic to house dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, and/or mold spores. Occasionally, food allergies may cause perennial allergic rhinitis.
Advice from your allergist: Rhinitis. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunologywebsite. Available at: http://www.acaai.org/public/advice/rhin.htm. Accessed September 15, 2008.
Allergic rhinitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated September 2008. Accessed September 15, 2008.
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 09/2014
- Update Date: 09/17/2014