Skip to content

    Allergies Health Center

    Font Size

    Allergic Rhinitis - Symptoms

    Symptoms of allergic rhinitis may develop within minutes or hours after you breathe in an allergen. The symptoms can last for days.

    Symptoms that often start as soon as you breathe in an allergen include:

    Recommended Related to Allergies

    Fragrance Allergies: A Sensory Assault

    Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? You catch a whiff of a co-worker's new fragrance, and within minutes, you have a whopper of a headache. You pop open that new bottle of dish-washing liquid, and by the time you've washed the pots and pans, your hands and arms are covered in hives. You walk into a friend's home and smell freshly baked pumpkin pie. Only after you start sneezing uncontrollably and feeling dizzy, weak, and sick to your stomach do you learn she hasn't been baking --...

    Read the Fragrance Allergies: A Sensory Assault article > >

    • Sneezing over and over again, especially after you wake up in the morning.
    • A runny nose.
    • A tickle in your throat or coughing caused by postnasal drip.
    • Watery, itchy eyes. This may be allergic pinkeye.
    • Itchy ears, nose, and throat.

    Other symptoms that may take longer to appear include:

    • A stuffy nose, possibly with sniffing. This is the most common symptom in children.
    • Breathing through your mouth because your nose is blocked.
    • Rubbing your nose. Children tend to do this.
    • Eyes being sensitive to light.
    • Feeling tired, grumpy, or moody.
    • Not sleeping well.
    • A long-lasting (chronic) cough.
    • Pressure in your ear or having a hard time hearing.
    • Discomfort or pain in your face.
    • Dark circles or patches under your eyes (allergic shiners).

    Other problems with symptoms similar to allergic rhinitis include upper respiratory infections (URIs), nasal defects, and inflammation (rhinitis) not caused by an allergen (nonallergic rhinitis).

    When symptoms may change

    Your symptoms may be better or worse at different times of the year or different times in your life. For example:

    • If you are allergic to dust mites, animal dander, or indoor mold, your symptoms may be more severe in winter when you spend more time indoors.
    • If you have a pollen allergy, your symptoms may vary based on what plants grow in your area and what season it is.
    • If you get pregnant, your symptoms might get worse. Allergic rhinitis can then make asthma and sinusitis worse.
    • As you grow older, allergens may affect you less.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: 3/, 014
    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.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man blowing nose
    Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
    Allergy capsule
    Breathe easier with these products.
    cat on couch
    Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
    Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
    Which ones affect you?

    blowing nose
    woman with sore throat
    lone star tick
    Woman blowing nose

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    cat lying on shelf
    Allergy prick test
    Man sneezing into tissue
    Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching