The symptoms of allergies and rhinitis can include nasal itching, repetitive sneezing, runny nose, post nasal drip, itchy eyes and cough. Less common symptoms may include headache and sinus pressure. Most cases can be diagnosed by history and examination alone. More difficult cases may require allergy testing.
Stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, post nasal drip are the most common symptoms of rhinitis (irritation and inflammation of the tissues inside the nose). Allergic rhinitis is triggered by airborne irritants such as pollen and dander.
Specific proteins found in certain foods may act as triggers to cause nasal symptoms such as postnasal drip, runny nose, sneezing or stuffy nose. Spicy foods, hot foods such as soups, and some alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine can sometimes be triggers.
Seasonal allergies, like other allergies, develop when the body’s immune system overreacts to something in the environment that typically causes no problem in most people. Symptoms become prevalent during certain times of the year and include sneezing, coughing, congestion, runny nose, itchy and runny eyes. Grass, pollen and mold are the most common triggers of seasonal allergies.
Rhinitis is irritation and inflammation of the tissues (mucous membranes) inside the nose. Symptoms include sneezing and runny or itchy nose. There are two types of rhinitis: allergic rhinitis in which a chemical, histamine, is released by the cells causing skin redness and swollen tissues and non-allergic rhinitis which is not caused by an allergic reaction and can be triggered by pollutants, strong odors, alcoholic beverages and cold temperature.