Perennial Allergic Rhinitis

A Family Affair

It is well known that allergies are genetically transmitted from parent to child. If one parent has respiratory allergies there is a 50% probability that any child will have allergies. The percentage increases to 70% if both parents are allergic.

This form of rhinitis is characterized by either intermittent or continuous nasal symptoms throughout the year. The main perennial allergens are house dust mites, molds, animal danders and cockroaches. Symptoms of perennial allergic rhinitis are similar to those of seasonal allergic rhinitis but nasal obstruction is usually the predominant feature. This nasal obstruction may be particularly noticeable in children with mouth breathing, sneezing, constant sniffles and poor sleep. Frontal headaches, fullness in ears, nasal bleeding along with allergic shiners (dark circles under the eyes) are frequently seen

Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis

Symptoms of rhinitis occur mainly during pollination season of plants to which the patient is sensitive. In this region, trees start pollinating by March and grasses usually by April. Pollens are from wind pollinated plants and not from plants depending on insect pollination (flowers). In fall in the Chattanooga area, ragweed starts pollinating by mid August and continues throughout September into early October.

Airborne mold spores may also cause seasonal allergic rhinitis especially if the weather is warm and damp. Mold allergy may occur from early spring until the first frost.

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