Nose allergies can be caused by irritants such as pollen, animal dander, and household dust
Nose allergies (nasal allergies or rhinitis) occur when your immune system has an allergic reaction to an otherwise harmless substance.
Your nose produces mucus, which is normally thin and clear and helps protect your lungs from dust, debris, germs, and allergens. If you have an allergy, your body may produce too much mucus, leading to stuffiness or a runny nose.
Common triggers of nasal allergies include:
- Pollen. Pollen causes seasonal allergies, also called hay fever, which usually peaks during certain times of the year. Tree pollen peaks in the spring, grass pollen often peaks in the summer and weed pollen is seen in the fall. Most nasal allergies continue through the pollen season and can last for about 4-8 weeks.
- Animal dander. Dander from cats, dogs, horses, rabbits, and other animals can also cause nasal allergies, with symptoms usually lasting for a few hours.
- Household dust. Household dust contains many allergens, including dust mites and mold (in areas of high humidity). These types of allergens can cause perennial allergic rhinitis, which trigger daily symptoms all year round.
What are signs and symptoms of nasal allergies?
Common signs and symptoms of nasal allergy include:
How are nasal allergies treated?
Treatment options for nasal allergies include the following:
- Taken by mouth or as a nasal spray
- Relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes.
- Reduce nasal dripping and to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness
- Taken by mouth or as a nasal spray or drops
- Shrink the lining of the nasal passages, which relieves nasal stuffiness
- Should be taken short term and not long term.
- Nasal corticosteroids
- Come in nasal spray form
- Reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions
- Most effective for allergic rhinitis because they can reduce all symptoms including nasal congestion
- Have a few side effects
- Leukotriene receptor antagonists
- Block the action of important chemical messengers other than histamines that are involved in allergic reactions.
How to prevent nasal allergies
Nasal allergies can be prevented with the following tips:
- Avoid touching your face and rubbing your eyes or nose.
- Close windows at home and in the car during pollen season.
- Use dust mite covers on pillows, mattresses, and box springs.
- Keep pets off couches and beds.
- Wash hands often, especially after playing with pets.
- Wear a hat and sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from allergens.
Medically Reviewed on 7/14/2021
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Allergic Rhinitis. https://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis
Medline Plus. Allergic Rhinitis. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000813.htm