Symptoms of nonallergic rhinitis include:1
- Runny or stuffy nose
As you can see, these symptoms are very similar to symptoms from allergies. It’s not uncommon for some healthcare providers to misdiagnose nonallergic rhinitis as allergic rhinitis. In fact, in one study, 65% of people who were prescribed antihistamines for allergies were deemed nonallergic.2
What causes nonallergic rhinitis?
Put simply, a substance that doesn’t cause your immune system to have an allergic reaction, yet still causes symptoms like runny nose or sneezing, may be a nonallergic trigger.
Here are some examples:3,5
- Cigarette smoke
- Cleaning chemicals (bleach, laundry detergent, etc.)
Your immune system isn’t allergic to cigarette smoke or perfume, but instead your body is irritated from the vapor, causing allergy-like symptoms.
When it comes to allergies and nonallergic rhinitis, one of the best practices to reduce symptoms is to find out what’s causing your reaction and avoid it.
How can you tell the difference between nonallergic rhinitis and allergic rhinitis?
Due to the similar symptoms, discovering whether someone has allergic or nonallergic rhinitis can be challenging for some healthcare providers if they aren’t running a diagnostic test.4
Luckily, specific IgE blood testing may help healthcare providers better understand your condition and get you the treatment you need. Specific IgE blood testing is a simple blood test that tells clinicians what you may be allergic to. It can also be used to help rule out the role of allergies if you are having allergy like symptoms.
What if my allergy test says I’m not allergic to anything?
An allergy blood test that indicates that you aren’t sensitized to allergens may mean that something nonallergic is causing your reaction. Think, did you switch perfumes or cologne recently, have you been around someone who smokes, were you in traffic all day surrounded by pollution?
Discovering what’s causing your symptoms starts with talking to your healthcare provider about getting a specific IgE blood test.
Find out more about getting specific IgE allergy blood tested.