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Allergic Rhinitis - Cause

Allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever, occurs when your immune system overreacts camera.gif to particles in the air that you breathe—you are allergic to them. Your immune system causes symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose. The particles are called allergens, which simply means they can cause an allergic reaction.

Several types of allergens cause allergic rhinitis, including pollens, mold, dust mites, animal dander, and cockroaches. Although polluted air is not an allergen, it can irritate your nose and lungs. An irritated nose or lungs may make an allergic reaction more likely when you breathe in an allergen.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 30, 2012
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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