Allergic Rhinitis Respiratory Conditions Allergies

Allergic Rhinitis – Signs and Symptoms

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Allergic Rhinitis - Information for Patients

Think back to your last cold – the stuffy nose, frequent sneezing, and maybe itchy eyes. Now, imagine experiencing those symptoms regularly, triggered by common substances like pollen or dust. Welcome to the life of someone with allergic rhinitis. Consider it a persistent cold triggered by allergens rather than a virus. 

Children suffering from it might show signs like habitual snorting, throat clearing, or making clicking sounds. Allergic rhinitis influences their overall life quality, causing challenges in school, attention issues and lower self-esteem. Adults too suffer job-related issues and mood swings.

There are two forms of allergic rhinitis: Seasonal, which is triggered by specific allergens like pollen at certain times of the year, and perennial, caused by constant exposure to elements like dust, mold, or pet dander. Over time, you could become increasingly sensitive to these allergens, intensifying your symptoms with even mild allergen exposure.

To identify this allergy, healthcare providers may look for dark circles under your eyes, nasal creases from frequent nose rubbing, and other physical signs. More specialized tests might be necessary to confirm an allergic rhinitis diagnosis since many symptoms overlap with other conditions.

Allergic rhinitis normally begins after a few years of allergen exposure, rarely seen in children under two. Its prevalence increases as one grows older and peaks during early adulthood. Older adults diagnosed with allergic rhinitis might have been subjected to a new allergen, such as a new pet or a climate change.

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