Allergic rhinitis is a common reaction of the nasal mucosa to a variety of allergens and may have its onset at any age, although most often it first presents during childhood or adolescence. Its most common symptoms include sneezing, rhinorrhea, and nasal congestion, and frequently it is associated with itching of the eyes, nose, and palate. It can occur as a seasonal condition (in the spring from tree pollen or in autumn from fall weeds or ragweed) or as a perennial chronic rhinitis (from dust mites, molds, cats, dogs, or cockroaches).

Diagnostic evaluation should include a thorough history, physical examination, and when necessary,other modalities such as nasal cytology, immunoglobulin (Ig)E skin tests,and rhinopharyngoscopy to distinguish allergic rhinitis from other conditions that may present similarly.

Perennial rhinitis of unknown etiology, also called “vasomotor rhinitis,” produces persistent mucosal congestion, but without correlation to any allergen exposure. Gustatory rhinitis is a rhinorrhea that...

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