Rhinitis, or inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, is often classified simply as allergic or nonallergic rhinitis. Though all types of rhinitis fall into one of these two categories, there are many variations of the nonallergic form.

Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold, or animal dander. It may produce sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and itchiness in the nose, throat, eyes, and ears.

Nonallergic Rhinitis
Vasomotor rhinitis, or irritant rhinitis, is a condition of unknown origin which seems to be aggravated by fumes, odors, temperature and atmospheric changes, smoke, and other irritants. This form of rhinitis, which usually afflicts adults, causes year-round symptoms that include congestion and headache. Decongestants and topical steroids are usually prescribed for this illness although no known medications can give complete relief from symptoms.

Please see you allergist for a concise diagnosis.

Please see Tip #16 for more information about symptoms, diagnosis, testing, and treatments.

National Allergy Bureau

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