Rhinitis refers to an inflammatory response of the lining of the membrane of the nose. Nasal allergy is extremely common and affects up to 20% of the population with symptoms that include sneezing, a runny nose or a blocked nose.

Allergic rhinitis may occur for short periods at the same time each year and is caused by allergies to various types of pollen. Allergic rhinitis can also occur all year round giving similar symtoms to hay fever but may be caused by allergies to house dust mites, chemicals, food and animal fur amongst other things.

Many sufferers may have associated evidence of sensitivity such as asthma, eczema, allergic dermatitis and drug allergies.


To establish whether an allergic reaction is the cause of your rhinitis your consultant will take the history of your symptoms, perform an examination of the nose and possibly order blood tests or skin prick tests to identify the specific allergens involved.


There are three main options in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.

1. Allergen avoidance measures
Measures to reduce the level of allergen in the local environment should be encouraged. The specific measures will differ depending on the nature of the allergen.

2. Drug treatment
Nasal sprays and antihistamines are the most effective treatments for allergic rhinitis. It is worth trying a nasal steroid spray and antihistamine for a month to see if this gives relief of symptoms. Please see your GP to arrange this.

3. Desensitisation
Desensitisation is now an encouraging way of treating those with severe symptoms that have not responded to conventional treatment. Newer sublingual treatments are replacing the need for regular injections.

Click to download information booklet House Dust Mite avoidance, Allergic rhinitis, Post Nasal Drip, etc


The North Hampshire ENT Partnership is a team of consultants specialising in a wide spectrum of diseases and disorders that affect the Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) including snoring and sleep disorders, cosmetic and skin surgery.


Our surgeons provide specialist care by drawing from the 50 plus years of combined NHS experience and the many areas of individual specialist expertise available within the partnership.


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