Allergic Rhinitis and Hay Fever

  • Ann C. Jobe


Rhinitis is an inflammatory condition of the nasal mucosa characterized by sneezing, itching, rhinorrhea, and nasal congestion.1–3 Allergic rhinitis, the most common primary cause, is an antibody-mediated immunologic process. It is classified as seasonal or perennial according to the timing and duration of symptomatic periods. Characteristic symptoms of paroxysms of sneezing, nasal and ocular pruritus, rhinorrhea, and nasal congestion occur during specific periods with seasonal or acute allergic rhinitis (seasonal pollenosis or hay fever). With perennial or chronic allergic rhinitis the same cluster of symptoms, either intermittent or continuous, occurs throughout the year with no distinct seasonal pattern.1–4 Although allergic rhinitis can begin at any age, most individuals develop symptoms before age 20; and the highest rate of increase in the onset of symptoms occurs between the ages of 12 and 15 years.1–4


Allergic Rhinitis Nasal Mucosa Nasal Congestion Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis Nasal Secretion 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

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  • Ann C. Jobe

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