In many ways, the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (which is another name for nasal allergies) are close to those of the common cold. However, a cold usually goes away after a few days, while allergy symptoms do not. They may last for days or weeks at a time, or may even persist year-round, depending on what your allergy triggers are.
Common nasal allergy symptoms include:
- Stuffy, congested nose
- Runny nose
- Itching in the nose, roof of the mouth, ears and / or throat
- Itchy and / or watery eyes
- Coughing, caused by mucus running down the back of your throat (post-nasal drip)
In addition, a hallmark sign of nasal allergies in children is what is known as the "allergic salute." This occurs when children push up on their noses with the palm of their hand in order to stop the itching or sniffles. Kids with allergies also often have what are called "shiners," dark circles under their eyes.
If you're not sure if your nasal symptoms are related to allergies or a cold, start taking note of when they occur and how long they last. Do they start up after you pet a cat or do your weekly housecleaning? Are they worse when you go outside in the spring? Or maybe when you're raking leaves in the fall? Noticing the answers to these and similar questions will help you start to see patterns that you can then discuss with your doctor.
If you do have nasal allergies, be sure to follow your doctor's advice for how to control your allergy symptoms, because this will contribute to asthma control as well.
American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology. "Allergic Rhinitis." AAAAI. 13 Apr 2008.
American Academy of Allergy Asthma & ImmunologyAAAAI. "Tips to Remember: Rhinitis." 2007. AAAAI. 13 Apr 2008.