Allergic rhinitis

What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is a very common condition caused by allergens such as pollen, dust or mould which can cause inflammation inside the nose. The condition affects around 1 in 5 people in the UK. It’s caused by the immune system reacting to an allergen as being harmful. This results in cells in the nose releasing chemicals, which make the inside of the nose swollen and produce increased amounts of mucus. Hayfever is a type of allergic rhinitis.


The symptoms usually start after coming into contact with an allergen. It can last for a few months at a time and usually calms down once the trigger has gone, such as pollen in summer months. However, some people do suffer from the condition all year round.

Symptoms include:

• Sneezing
• Blocked or runny nose
• Itching

How to manage allergic rhinitis 

The most effective way to manage allergic rhinitis is to try and avoid the triggers, or take steps to reduce exposure to the allergens that are causing the inflammation. This can often be tricky, so here are some useful tips to help:

• Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe surfaces
• Avoid smoke and other irritants
• Keep windows closed when pollen counts are high
• Remove as many unnecessary furnishings like rugs, pillows, covers, etc
• Wash clothing often
• Keep pets out of bedrooms
• Use synthetic pillows
• Think about investing in a good air purifier

You can also try medication such as antihistamines, or regularly rinse the nasal passage with a salt water solution. If you are unsure, or have already tried the above steps and they have not helped your symptoms, then speak to your GP.