If your nose is chronically stuffy or you happen to sneeze a lot, does that mean you have allergies and should seek treatment? Not necessarily. Although allergic rhinitis – more commonly known as hay fever – is the most typical cause of chronic nasal symptoms, some people have nasal problems that simulate allergy, but they don’t have allergies.
Some non-allergic conditions simulate nasal allergy
One condition that can seem like allergies is vasomotor rhinitis which is due to excessive changes in the caliber of blood vessels in the nose. Year-round symptoms, that may include nasal congestion, runny nose and headaches, are brought on by changes in temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, and exposure to pungent odors. We often use the term non-allergic vasomotor rhinitis, or NAVMR.
You know the experience of your nose running when you’ve had hot soup? People with gustatory rhinitis have the same problem with anything they eat.
Other causes of conditions confused with nasal allergy range from hormone imbalances to side effects from certain medications.
So are your allergies the real deal? Take the quick quiz below to see if you may be suffering from allergies, click on the individual symptom to learn more about it.
Is it cold, flu, or allergies?
If you’re not sure whether you should you be treated for a COVID-19, cold, flu, or allergies, review this symptom chart.