Rhinitis or stuffy nose is when a reaction occurs that causes nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and itching. Most types of rhinitis are caused by inflammation and are associated with symptoms in the eyes, ears, or throat. There are several types of rhinitis. The most common are acute rhinitis, which is usually caused by a viral illness, allergic or seasonal rhinitis, and non-allergic or year-round rhinitis. The symptoms vary from person to person but generally include a running nose, sore throat, itchy eyes, hives, dark circles under the eyes, etc.

What is Rhinitis?

An allergen can be defined as something that is otherwise harmless but causes allergic reaction in people suffering from Rhinitis. Also known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis is basically an allergic response to certain allergens, pollen being one of the most common in case of seasonal rhinitis.


Symptoms of rhinitis usually occur when you consume a food item that you are allergic to. Rhinitis is basically a condition that causes obstruction and/or congestion of the nose. If you are feeling uncomfortable and have a runny nose, an itchy nose, and/or are constantly sneezing, you might want to get it checked.

Symptoms of Rhinitis

There are many symptoms of rhinitis that you might end up ignoring at first because they are similar to other common health issues such as the common cold or fever. It is important to be aware of the symptoms to ensure that you can figure things out before you are badly affected by rhinitis. Some of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis are:

  • a runny nose

  • sneezing

  • a stuffy nose

  • coughing

  • an itchy nose

  • A scratchy or sore throat

  • watery eyes

  • itchy eyes

  • dark circles under your eyes

  • eczema-type symptoms like having extremely itchy skin that is dry and can form blisters, and frequent recurring headaches

  • hives

  • weep

  • excessive fatigue

You are most likely to feel the above symptoms - one or more - right after you have come into contact with any allergen. Symptoms such as recurring headache or fatigue, however, are likely to happen only after you have been exposed to an allergen for a long period of time. Fevers are not caused by hay fever.

Causes of Rhinitis

If you come in direct contact with any allergen, your body would release histamine. Histamine is a natural chemical which works as the defender from the allergens. This natural chemical could cause rhinitis. Some of the most common allergens are:

  • grass pollen

  • cat saliva

  • animal dander (old skin)

  • mold

  • dust mites

During some particular seasons of the year, pollen could be extremely problematic. Flower and tree pollens are more commonly found during the spring. Weeds and grasses produce pollen in more numbers during the summer and fall.

Types of Rhinitis

The two types of allergic rhinitis are seasonal and perennial.

  • Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis:

Seasonal allergic rhinitis usually occurs during the fall and spring seasons and is typically caused due to allergens such as pollen.

  • Perennial Allergic Rhinitis:

Perennial allergic rhinitis can occur at any point of time throughout the year. It is caused due to response to pet dander or other indoor substances.

Ways of Transmission

Rhinitis can get transmitted in ways similar to that of the common cold.

  • Person-to-person contact:

If you come in direct contact with a person infected with rhinitis, there is a possibility of you getting infected as well.

  • Direct contact with pets:

If you are allergic to certain animals, you could get infected with rhinitis on coming in direct contact with pets.

  • Direct or indirect contact with surfaces that are full or dust mites or other allergens:

Surfaces that are filled with dust mites and/or allergens have high chances of getting you infected with rhinitis.

Diagnosis of Rhinitis

  • Physical examination:

If your allergies are minor, you would probably need only a physical examination. However, it is upto your doctor to decide on which tests to get done to best understand and treat your hay fever.

  • Skin prick test:

One commonly and widely used test is called the skin prick test. Under this procedure, your doctor would place multiple substances on your skin and see the reaction of your body to each of the substances. In case you are allergic to a particular substance, a tiny red bump is likely to appear.

  • Radioallergosorbent test:

Another method of rhinitis diagnosis is the blood test called RAST or the radioallergosorbent test. This blood test would measure the immunoglobulin E antibody amounts to figure out the allergens in your system.

Rhinitis treatment

There are multiple ways of allergic rhinitis treatment used by doctors. Some of the rhinitis treatment methods include:

  • Medications

  • Home remedies

  • Alternative medicine such as allergic rhinitis treatment in ayurveda

It is always best to check and see which medications work the best for your health. Not every method or remedy would work at a similar pace for you. Therefore, take your time to figure out the best way to treat your condition.

Home remedies for Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis treatment through the usage of home remedies would depend on what your allergens are.

  • Keep the windows shut:

You could try keeping the windows shut and instead use the air conditioner if you have pollen or seasonal rhinitis

  • Add filters:

You may also choose to add filters that are particularly designed for allergies

  • Dehumidifier:

You may also use a high efficiency particulate air or HEPA filter, or a dehumidifier - these would help you take care of what hayfever is while you remain indoors

  • Clean and wash regularly:

If your hay fever is caused due to dust mites, remember to always clean and wash your blankets and bedsheets in warm water that is at a temperature of above 54.4°C

  • HEPA filter:

You could also try adding a HEPA filter to the vacuum, which you are suggested to use once a week at least

Tips to Prevent Rhinitis

The best and the easiest way for you to prevent rhinitis would be to manage your allergy before your body has any chance of responding to substances in an adverse manner. The following are some preventive measures for certain allergens that you might be allergic to:


1. Pollen


  • Start with your medications before the seasonal allergy attacks begin

  • Remain indoors during the peak pollen hours

  • Take a shower right after you return home from outdoors

  • Keep the windows closed during the peak season

  • Avoid laundry and line-drying

2. Dust mites

  • In order to decrease exposure to dust mites, take measure that would help you ensure that your home is not a space that happens to be a friendly environment for the development of dust mites

  • Instead of sweeping, use wet mop to clean hard floors

  • If your floors have a carpet, use a vacuum cleaner added with a HEPA filter

  • Make sure that you often dust hard surfaces at your home

  • Wash and clean your bedding once every week in hot water

  • You should also use cases and pillows that are allergen-blocking to reduce the exposure of dust mites while you are sleeping

3. Pet dander

  • You must limit your contact or exposure to any animal that you are allergic to

  • Remember to clean surfaces often

  • Wash your hands properly right after you have come into contact with any pets, just to be safe

  • Make sure that your furry friends do not get up on your bed

  • Wash your clothes and take a quick shower after you return home from a friend’s place that has pets


Now that you have learnt about the different types and causes of allergic rhinitis, the ways of transmission, diagnosis and treatment methods, as well as the preventive measures that you could take to stay safe, you might want to visit your doctor and get some tests done to know exactly what you are allergic to. Keep your surroundings clean, and take your medications on time to stay healthy and steer clear of troubles. Go for Bajaj Markets health insurance to be prepared for any financial emergencies. 

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