Topic Overview

Your doctor can often diagnose allergic rhinitis by asking you questions about your symptoms and past medical problems. Following are some questions he or she may ask:

  • What are your allergy symptoms like? What is your main symptom? How much does it bother you? Is there anything that makes it worse?
  • How old were you when you first had these symptoms?
  • How often do you have allergy symptoms, and how long do your symptoms last?
  • Do you have trouble sleeping or have you missed school or work because of your allergy symptoms?
  • What time of year and what time of day do you have allergy symptoms?
  • Does anyone else in your family have allergy problems, including allergic asthma?
  • Do you have other medical conditions that are related to allergies, such as asthma, eczema, or rhinitis?
  • Did you have allergies as a child?
  • What medicines, including over-the-counter medicines and natural health products, are you taking now? Do these medicines help your allergy symptoms?
  • Have you ever had surgery on your nose, throat, or ears?

Your doctor may also ask questions to help learn what might trigger your allergy.

  • Where are your allergy symptoms worse? At home? At work? At school?
  • Does your home ever feel damp or wet? What is the usual temperature in your home?
  • Do you ever use air conditioners or humidifiers?
  • Do you have carpeting in your bedroom?
  • Do you have any indoor pets, such as a cat or a dog?
  • Do you spend most of your time indoors or outdoors?
  • Do you work with chemicals or other irritating substances?
  • Do you or anyone in your household smoke?
  • Do you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove?

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology

Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015