perennial rhinitis

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Allergic rhinitis may be:

  • seasonal (also called "hay fever")
    • caused by grass, tree pollen allergens, symptoms can seen during the same time each year
  • perennial
    • caused by house dust mites, symptoms occur right throughout the year
  • occupational
    • caused by allergens at workplace e.g.- flour allergy in a baker(1)

Allergic rhinitis can also be divided according to the severity and persistence of symptoms:

  • mild intermittent
  • moderate severe intermittent
  • mild persistent
  • moderate severe persistent (1)

It is characterized by

  • rhinorrhoea
  • nasal blockage
  • sneezing attacks for longer than 1 hour per day lasting longer than 2 weeks
  • itching - eyes, nose
  • watery eyes
  • fatigue
  • malaise
  • headache (2)
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath (3)

Allergic rhinitis may coexist with asthma, eczema, or chronic sinusitis. It occurs when an individual, previously exposed to an antigen, has made IgE to that antigen. The IgE is incorporated into the cell membranes of mast cells, and upon subsequent exposure to that antigen the mast cells degranulate, releasing inflammatory mediators such as histamine and slow reacting substance of anaphylaxis (SRS-A). (1)


  • 1. Clinical knowledge summaries, safe practical clinical answers. Allergic rhinitis
  • 2. Quillen David, Feller David B. Diagnosing Rhinitis: Allergic vs. Nonallergic. AAFP 2006; 73(9)
  • 3. MeReC bulletin (2004); 14 (5): 17-20

Last reviewed 01/2018