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Allergic rhinitis is a common chronic respiratory condition marked by sneezing and a runny and itchy nose and eyes. Allergic rhinitis is caused by breathing in microscopic particles of specific allergens, airborne substances to which an individual is sensitive or allergic. This substance is called an allergen.
In most people, microscopic particles that are in the air, such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and animal dander, cause no problems. For people with allergic rhinitis, breathing in one or more of these substances triggers an abnormal reaction of the immune system.
Normally the immune system's function is to react to potentially dangerous substances that enter the body, such as bacteria and viruses. In people with allergic rhinitis, the immune system reacts to substances that are generally harmless, such as pollen, dust mites, and animal dander. This leads to a release of chemicals, including histamine, which cause inflammation, redness and swelling of tissues and the classic symptoms of allergic rhinitis. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis is a common condition, affecting between 10% and 30% of all adults and as many as 40% of children, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Hayfever, also referred to as seasonal allergy, is a type of allergic rhinitis. In hayfever a person is allergic to specific plant pollens that are present during particular seasons.
The severity, symptoms, and triggers of allergic rhinitis vary between individuals. People who are more likely to develop allergic rhinitis include those with a family history of allergies, being born during pollen season, being male, and exposure to smoke during infancy.
Uncomplicated allergic rhinitis is generally not a serious condition, but it can trigger or accompany serious, even life-threatening, attacks of shortness of breath and wheezing in people who also have asthma. It can also go hand-in-hand with eczema, sinusitis, and otitis media.
A diagnosis of allergic rhinitis can often be made by taking a thorough health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical exam. For some people, allergy testing (skin patch testing) may be performed. In a patch test, small amounts of common allergens are applied methodically to the skin to determine what substances are triggering an allergic response, leading to the allergic rhinitis. A complete blood count (CBC) and other blood test may also be performed.
Because the symptoms of allergic rhinitis may be similar to other conditions, such as upper respiratory infection, a misdiagnosis is possible. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of allergic rhinitis.
There is currently no cure for allergic rhinitis, but the condition can be controlled with a good treatment plan individualized to a person's medical history, the specific substances to which a person reacts, and the frequency and severity of symptoms. Treatment includes preventive measures and oral medications to control symptoms. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of allergic rhinitis....more »
A diagnosis of allergic rhinitis can be missed or delayed because in some people, symptoms, such as itchy nose and watery eyes, may be mild, not last long, or occur infrequently. In addition, the symptoms of the allergic rhinitis can be similar and easily attributed to other diseases, such as upper respiratory infection, influenza, or sinusitis. To ...more misdiagnosis »
The following medical conditions are some of the possible
causes of Allergic rhinitis.
There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor
about your symptoms.
Home medical tests possibly related to Allergic rhinitis:
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Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Allergic rhinitis, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.
Allergic rhinitis is a chronic condition that is not curable. However, with a well integrated, medically monitored plan of care, symptoms can be effectively controlled, and people with allergic rhinitis can lead active, comfortable lives. A good treatment plan is individualized to a person's medical history, specific type of allergen, severity of symptoms, and other factors.
Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Allergic rhinitis may include:
Review further information on Allergic rhinitis Treatments.
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Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Allergic rhinitis may include these symptoms:
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Whooping cough often undiagnosed: Although most children in the Western world have been immunized against whooping cough (also called "pertussis"), this protection wears off after about 15 years. Thus, any teen or adult with a persistent cough may actually...read more »
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Seasonal variety of allergic rhinitis, marked by acute conjunctivitis with lacrimation and itching; regarded as an allergic condition triggered by specific allergens.
- (Source - Diseases Database)
Rhinitis caused by an allergic reaction
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)
The list of organs typically affected by Allergic rhinitis may include, but is not limited to:
The list below shows some of the causes of Allergic rhinitis mentioned in various sources:
This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Allergic rhinitis. Of the 19 causes of Allergic rhinitis that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:
The following list of conditions have 'Allergic rhinitis' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.
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Subtypes of Allergic rhinitis:
Nasal allergies (8 causes)
Medical Conditions associated with Allergic rhinitis:
Hay fever (16 causes), Runny nose (754 causes), Discharge (773 causes), Nose symptoms (2080 causes), Sneezing (454 causes), Stuffed nose (712 causes), Mucus symptoms (766 causes), Inflammatory symptoms (1736 causes), Immune system symptoms (465 causes), Mucus membrane symptoms (832 causes), Respiratory tract symptoms (5166 causes), Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Mouth symptoms (6864 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Breathing symptoms (3381 causes), Breath symptoms (3023 causes), Temperature symptoms (2497 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes)
Symptoms related to Allergic rhinitis:
Runny nose (754 causes), Allergies, Hay fever (16 causes), Dust allergies, Pollen allergy (4 causes), Running nose (754 causes), Blocked nose (712 causes), Flu (168 causes), Watering eyes (37 causes), Nose congestion
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