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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:

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  • "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: March 12, 2014
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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