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Physical Exam for Allergic Rhinitis

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Topic Overview

To help diagnose allergic rhinitis, your doctor will examine your:

  • Eyes, to see if they are swollen, teary, or red, or if you have other signs of long-term (chronic) allergies.
  • Nose, for swollen nasal mucous membranes and structural defects.
  • Ears, for fluid in the middle ear and the appearance of the eardrum.
  • Sinus areas, for tenderness and signs of infection.
  • Mouth, to see whether you have changes from breathing only through your mouth.
  • Back of throat, for signs of postnasal drip or infection, such as red, raised, bumpy tissue.
  • Chest and lungs, for signs of infection or asthma.
  • Skin, for signs of allergy, such as hives or eczema.

Children with allergic rhinitis may have the:

Recommended Related to Allergies

Spotting Hidden Allergy Triggers

If you've been living with allergies, you probably know the obvious stuff by now -- don't take in stray cats, don't hang around in dusty attics, don't inhale deeply in smoking lounges. But that might not be enough. There could be hidden allergy triggers and irritants all around you that you don't know about. "Hidden allergens and irritants are a huge problem for people with allergies," says Hugh H. Windom, MD, an associate clinical professor of immunology at the University of South Florida...

Read the Spotting Hidden Allergy Triggers article > >

  • "Allergic salute." Your child may often rub his or her nose upward with the palm of the hand to reduce itching and to open the nasal passages.
  • "Allergic crease." Your child may often rub his or her nose and have a crease on the bridge of the nose.
  • "Allergic shiner." Your child may have dark color under the eyes caused by long-term nasal blockage and swelling under the eyes.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 30, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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