Allergic Rhinitis


Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is associated with a group of inflammatory symptoms affecting the nose.

Allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, is associated with a group of inflammatory symptoms affecting the nose.

An allergen is a type of antigen, something that triggers an abnormal immune response in which the immune system fights off a perceived threat that would otherwise be harmless to the body causing an allergy.

Inherited genetics and environmental exposures contribute to the development of allergies.

The symptoms occur when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air or when you eat a food that you are allergic to.

When a person with allergic rhinitis breathes in an allergen such as animal dander, pollen, dust or mold, the body releases chemicals that cause allergy symptoms.
Symptom onset is often minutes after the exposure and can affect sleep, work, and the ability to concentrate.

The symptoms include

  • Rhinorrhea excess nasal secretion,  the fluid from the nose is usually clear.
  • Itching
  • Sneezing fits
  • Nasal congestion and obstruction.
  • Conjunctival swelling and erythema
  • Eyelid swelling
  • Lower eyelid venous stasis
  • Swollen nasal turbinates
  • Middle ear effusion.

Those whose symptoms are due to pollen typically develop symptoms during specific times of the year. Each spring, summer, and fall, trees, weeds, and grasses release tiny pollen grains into the air. Some of the pollen ends up in your nose and throat.

Many people with allergic rhinitis also have asthma, allergic conjunctivitis, or atopic dermatitis.

Your health care provider may diagnose hay fever based on a physical exam and your symptoms. Sometimes skin or blood tests are used. Taking medicines and using nasal sprays can relieve symptoms. You can also rinse out your nose, but be sure to use distilled or sterilized water with saline. Allergy shots can help make you less sensitive to pollen and provide long-term relief.


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