Conditions InDepth: Allergic Rhinitis
by Michael Jubinville, MPH
Allergic rhinitis is irritation and swelling in the nose. It is caused by an overreaction of the immune system. An allergen, something that should be harmless, is inhaled through the nose. The allergen triggers mast cells to release histamine. This leads to swelling of blood vessels and tissue that lines the nose and sinuses. This starts a chain of events that cause:
The most common allergens come from grasses, trees, weeds, or animals.
Types of Allergic Rhinitis
There are 2 types:
Problems Linked to Allergic Rhinitis
Allergies are mild but annoying in most. It can cause or worsen:
Allergic rhinitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/allergic-rhinitis. Updated July 9, 2018. Accessed February 14, 2020.
Allergic rhinitis treatment. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. Available at: https://www.aafa.org/allergy-treatments/. Updated March 2018. Accessed February 14, 2020.
Allergy shots. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/allergy-shots-(immunotherapy). Accessed February 14, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 10/27/2020
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