Rhinitis is inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes. This inflammation is accompanied by nasal congestion, sneezing, and runny nose. The disease course can become chronic and recurring. There are two types of rhinitis: allergic and non-allergic.
Allergic rhinitis can result from a variety of environmental substances, called allergens. Some of these allergens are seasonal, such as pollen, hay fever, and mold. Patients suffering from seasonal allergies normally have symptoms in the spring. Year-round allergens include dust, dust mites, pet dander, indoor mold, foods, and medicines. More than 20% of Americans are affected by allergic rhinitis annually.1