Often called hay fever, allergic rhinitis affects 20 to 30 percent of the population. There are two types of allergic rhinitis: perennial and seasonal.
Perennial allergic rhinitis occurs due to allergens that are present all year. These perennial allergens are usually found inside a home and include:
Seasonal allergic rhinitis (sometimes referred to as seasonal allergies) occurs due to:
There is also an outdoor mold season that takes place in the typically damp month of April and again in August.
It usually takes two frosts to get rid of outdoor allergens. These time frames apply to Indiana and may vary depending on where you live.
Allergic rhinitis can cause symptoms in the nose, throat, ears and roof of the mouth. The same allergy triggers that affect the nose can also affect the eyes. This leads to itchy, red, watery eyes, known as allergic conjunctivitis. Allergies of the eyes and nose are called allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.
Symptoms of allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis may include:
Children with allergic rhinitis may also clear their throats often or breathe through their mouths. Allergic rhinitis can also cause the tongue or the roof of the mouth to feel itchy. In some cases, you may notice your child making a clicking sound as he or she tries to relieve this itching by pressing the tongue against the roof of the mouth.
Many parents notice that their children are more tired than usual during allergy season. If your child has allergic rhinitis, it can affect the quality of his or her sleep.
To diagnose allergic rhinitis, pediatric allergists at Riley at IU Health ask you questions about your child’s health history and symptoms. The doctor will also do a physical exam. Allergy testing (skin tests) may be needed to learn which specific allergens are causing your child’s symptoms. If the allergy tests are all negative, irritants in the environment such as tobacco smoke or pollution may be playing a role.
If your child is diagnosed with allergic rhinitis, his or her treatment plan may include:
Visit the trusted websites below to learn more about allergic rhinitis.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
Read more about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of allergic rhinitis from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
The website of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology provides in-depth information about allergic rhinitis along with a symptom test.
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