Nasal & Sinus Center

What is Allergic Rhinitis?

Known to most people as hay fever, allergic rhinitis is a very common medical problem affecting more than 15 percent of the population, both adults and children.

Allergic rhinitis takes two different forms — seasonal and perennial. Symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis occur in spring, summer and /or early fall and are usually caused by allergic sensitivity to pollens from trees, grasses or weeds, or to airborne mold spores. Other people experience symptoms year-round, a condition called "perennial allergic rhinitis." It's generally caused by sensitivity to house dust, house dust mites, animal dander and /or mold spores. Underlying or hidden food allergies are considered a possible cause for perennial nasal symptoms. Some people may experience both types of rhinitis, with perennial symptoms worsening during specific pollen seasons. As will be discussed later, there are also other causes for rhinitis.