Fast Five Quiz: Allergy Triggers

Praveen Buddiga, MD

Disclosures

August 23, 2019

Allergic rhinitis has a significant genetic component, so a positive family history for atopy makes the diagnosis more likely. In fact, a greater risk of allergic rhinitis exists if both parents have atopic disease than if one parent has atopic disease. However, the cause of allergic rhinitis appears to be multifactorial, and a person with no family history of allergic rhinitis can still develop allergic rhinitis.

The age of onset of symptoms should be determined and if the symptoms have been present continuously. Although the onset of allergic rhinitis can occur well into adulthood, most patients develop symptoms by 20 years of age.

The term "cobblestoning" is used to describe streaks of lymphoid tissue on the posterior pharynx, which is commonly observed with allergic rhinitis. Tonsillar hypertrophy can also be observed. Malocclusion (overbite) and a high-arched palate can be observed in patients who breathe from their mouths excessively.

The causes of allergic rhinitis differ depending on whether a patient's symptoms are seasonal, perennial, or sporadic/episodic. Some patients are sensitive to multiple allergens and can have perennial allergic rhinitis with seasonal exacerbations. Although food allergy can cause rhinitis, particularly in children, it is rarely a cause of allergic rhinitis in the absence of gastrointestinal or skin symptoms.

Read more about allergic rhinitis.

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