Do you have bouts of sneezing and itching, or a runny or stuffy nose that do not
seem to go away? If so, you may have rhinitis. Rhinitis is one of the most
common illnesses in the United States, affecting more than 50 million people.
Rhinitis has a significant impact on the quality of life of those who suffer from it.
In addition, it can contribute to other conditions such as sinus problems, ear
problems, sleep problems, and learning problems. In patients with asthma,
uncontrolled rhinitis seems to make asthma worse.
There are two general types of rhinitis:
• When allergic rhinitis is caused by common outdoor allergens, such as
airborne tree, grass and weed pollens or mold, it is called seasonal allergic
rhinitis, or “hay fever.”
• Allergic rhinitis is also triggered by common indoor allergens, such as
animal dander (dried skin flakes and saliva), indoor mold, droppings from dust
mites and cockroach particles. This is called perennial allergic rhinitis.
• Sneezing, stuffy nose (congestion), runny nose and itching in the nose,
roof of the mouth, throat, eyes and ears.
At least one out of three people with rhinitis have no allergies.