Allergic rhinitis often has a genetic component. If someone in your family, especially parents or siblings, has allergic rhinitis, asthma, or eczema, your risk of developing allergic rhinitis is increased. This suggests a genetic predisposition to allergic reactions and sensitivities.
Exposure to the following may trigger allergic rhinitis:
POLLEN: Pollen is a common trigger for allergic rhinitis, particularly during certain seasons (seasonal allergic rhinitis). Trees, grasses, and weeds release pollen into the air, and when individuals with sensitivities inhale this pollen, it can lead to allergic symptoms like sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and itchy eyes.
DUST: Dust mites are tiny organisms found in household dust. Their droppings and body fragments can be potent allergens. When you’re exposed to dust, especially in indoor environments, it can trigger allergic rhinitis symptoms, particularly if you are sensitive to dust mites.
SMOKE: Smoke, whether from tobacco or wood-burning fires, can irritate the nasal passages and worsen symptoms for people with allergic rhinitis. It doesn’t directly cause allergic rhinitis but can exacerbate the condition.
FRYING OF OIL: Cooking oil fumes, when inhaled, can irritate the respiratory system and potentially trigger symptoms similar to allergic rhinitis in some individuals. However, this is more of an irritant response than a true allergy.
MOLD: Mold spores in the air, especially in damp or humid environments, can trigger allergic rhinitis in susceptible individuals. Mold allergies can cause symptoms similar to pollen allergies, such as sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes.
CERTAIN PETS: Some people are allergic to proteins found in the skin cells, saliva, or urine of cats, dogs, and other pets. Exposure to these allergens can lead to allergic rhinitis symptoms. It’s worth noting that pet allergies can be triggered even if you don’t own a pet but are exposed to environments with pet allergens.
WASTE FROM INSECTS: Cockroach allergens, found in their droppings and body parts, can act as potent allergens. If you are exposed to areas infested with cockroaches, it can trigger allergic rhinitis symptoms, especially in urban environments.
CERTAIN FOODS, LIKE PEANUTS: While allergic rhinitis primarily involves reactions in the respiratory system, some allergens, like peanuts, can cause systemic allergic reactions. These reactions may include nasal symptoms along with more severe symptoms like hives, throat swelling, and difficulty breathing. Food allergies can sometimes be associated with allergic rhinitis.