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Allergic rhinitis in Adult
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Allergic rhinitis in Adult

Contributors: Eve Tranchito, Benjamin L. Mazer MD, MBA, Mary Anne Morgan MD, Paul C. Bryson MD, MBA
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common cause of nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, and lacrimation. Patients with AR often present with itching of the nose, throat, and eyes as well as cough, postnasal drip, and fatigue. It affects up to 20% of individuals in the United States. There are many triggers, including plants, animal dander, pollens, and molds. These allergens are thought to cause AR through immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated mast cell degranulation in the nasal mucosa.

AR may present with a seasonal, occupational, or perennial (chronic) pattern. More recently, however, AR has been categorized as "intermittent," "persistent," "mild," or "moderate," depending on duration and frequency of symptoms. The condition affects people of all demographics and locations; however, there is thought to be a higher likelihood of AR in individuals with a family history of allergies. Of note, it is more common in people with atopic conditions such as asthma, atopic dermatitis, and food allergies. AR typically develops before age 20 and frequently diminishes in severity as patients age.

Although not life-threatening, AR can dramatically impact quality of life and school / workplace productivity.

Related topics: drug-induced rhinitis, vasomotor rhinitis


J30.9 – Allergic rhinitis, unspecified

61582004 – Allergic Rhinitis

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Last Reviewed:03/31/2019
Last Updated:12/20/2020
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Allergic rhinitis in Adult
A medical illustration showing key findings of Allergic rhinitis : Nasal congestion, Recurring episodes or relapses, Rhinorrhea, Sneezing, Ocular pruritus
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