Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Rhinitis Underlying Cause

Allergic rhinitis occurs when the immune system overreacts to a harmless substance, called an allergen. The immune system is made up of special cells, called white blood cells, which fight infection. When an allergen is present in the body, white blood cells recognize the allergen, and release chemicals into the bloodstream. These chemicals can cause inflammation of the inside lining to the nose, when it is exposed to an allergen.

Common allergens include:

  • Animal dander
  • Dust mites
  • Fungi
  • Grass
  • House dust
  • Household cleaners
  • Indoor plants
  • Insects
  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Rodents

Continue to Rhinitis Anatomy

Last Updated: Jan 6, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Rhinitis References
  1. Arshad SH. Primary prevention of asthma and allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Jul;116(1):3-14. [15990764]
  2. Busse WW: Mechanisms and advances in allergic diseases. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2000 Jun; 105(6 Pt 2): S593-8. [10856163]
  3. Meltzer EO, Szwarcberg J, Pill MW: Allergic rhinitis, asthma, and rhinosinusitis: diseases of the integrated airway. J Manag Care Pharm 2004 Jul-Aug; 10(4): 310-7. [15298529]
  4. Nielsen LP, Mygind N, Dahl R: Intranasal corticosteroids for allergic rhinitis: superior relief? Drugs 2001; 61(11): 1563-79. [11577794]
  5. Nimmagadda SR, Evans R 3rd: Allergy: etiology and epidemiology. Pediatr Rev 1999 Apr; 20(4): 111-5. [10208083]
  6. Veling MC, Trevino RJ: The treatment of allergic rhinitis with immunotherapy: a review of 1,000 cases. Ear Nose Throat J 2001 Aug; 80(8): 542-3. [11523472]
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