What is Allergic Rhinitis?

Are you sniffling during spring time? Is being around your cat making you sneeze? You may have allergic rhinitis.

Allergic rhinitis, also known as ‘hay fever’, is very common in Australia, with up to 1 in 7 people having this condition1.

Allergic rhinitis occurs when a person comes in contact with an allergen and their body’s defences ‘over react’ to the allergen, thinking it is harmful and dangerous, when really it’s probably not. This causes the symptoms that we associate with ‘hay fever’.

There are two ‘types’ of hay fever, and this is based on how often you have symptoms.

Persistent hay fever2

Persistent hay fever refers to symptoms that occur nearly all the time. If your symptoms are present for more than 4 days a week, for more than a month, you are considered a ‘persistent’ sufferer.

Intermittent hay fever2

Intermittent hay fever refers to symptoms that occur some of the time, but not always. If your symptoms are present for less than 4 days a week OR occur for less than a month, you are considered an ‘intermittent’ sufferer’.

These two types of hay fever can be further broken down into how bad the symptoms can get (mild, moderate-severe).

Speak to your health care professional for further information about hay fever.

Allergic Rhinitis

References

1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Allergic Rhinitis (‘hay fever’) in Australia. November 2011. Accessed 8th August 2016.

2. Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma (ARIA) Guidelines, 2008 Update.