Also known as: allergic rhinitis, hay fever

What is rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis usually presents in early childhood as an inflammatory reaction in the eyes, nose and throat caused by the body’s response to an allergen (an irritant like tree, grass or weed pollen, pet dander, dust mites, mold, cockroach waste, and others). Allergic rhinitis may be seasonal or may occur all year long (perennial).

What causes rhinitis? 

Substances known as allergens cause part of the body’s immune system (IgE) to trigger the release of histamine from cells. Histamine causes the inflammatory swelling, itching, and fluid production in the nose, sinuses, and eyelids.

What are the symptoms of rhinitis? 

Common symptoms include congestion, sneezing, runny nose, itching of the nose, throat, eyes, mouth and ears (children with perennial rhinitis may in addition, present with recurrent ear infections, breathing through the mouth, snoring, and the “allergic salute” which is rubbing of the itchy nose upwards causing a crease to form across the bridge of the nose).

What are rhinitis care options?

Avoiding the substance/s causing the problem is the best first step. Antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, or allergy shots (desensitization or immunotherapy), and/or other drugs are of value in managing the condition.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 5/4/2018 2:18:40 PM

From the Newsdesk

Meet Amy Feldman, MD - The Division of Allergy and Immunology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital
Dr. Feldman is employed by Pediatric Specialists of America (PSA), the multispecialty group practice of Nicklaus Children’s Health System. She is an allergist and immunologist within the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Dr. Feldman sees patients at the Nicklaus Children's Boynton Beach Care Center.
Nicklaus Children’s Opens Subspecialty Care Center in Boynton Beach
The Boynton Beach Care Center is the newest Nicklaus Children’s care location and offers a range of services for children from birth through 21 years of age.