Allergic Rhinitis | Symptoms

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What are common allergy symptoms?

Symptoms vary depending on the severity of your allergies. Symptoms can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itching (mostly eyes, nose, mouth, throat and skin)
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Pressure in the nose and cheeks
  • Ear fullness and popping
  • Sore throat
  • Watery, red or swollen eyes
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Trouble smelling
  • Hives

How does hay fever differ from a cold or the flu?

Hay fever lasts longer than a cold or the flu—up to several weeks—and does not cause fever. The nasal discharge from hay fever is thin, watery and clear, while nasal discharge from a cold or the flu tends to be thicker. Itching (mostly eyes, nose, mouth, throat and skin) is common with hay fever but not with a cold or the flu. Sneezing is more prominent with hay fever and can occur in rather violent bouts.

When should I see a doctor?

If your symptoms interfere with your life, consider seeing your family doctor. Your doctor will probably do a physical exam and ask you questions about your symptoms. Keeping a record of your symptoms over a period of time can help your doctor determine what triggers your allergies.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 01/96

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