Experts can classify
allergic rhinitis by how often a person has it and how
severe it is. Allergic rhinitis is:
Intermittent if you have symptoms fewer than 4
days a week or fewer than 4 weeks a
Persistent if you have symptoms 4 or more days a week
and 4 or more weeks a year.
Mild if your
symptoms do not affect your sleep, daily activities, and work or school. You
have no symptoms that bother you a lot.
Moderate to severe if your
symptoms do any one of the following:
Interfere with your sleep
daily activities or work or school difficult
Bother you a
Many experts classify allergic rhinitis
according to the kind of
allergens a person reacted to and when the reactions
Seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR). A seasonal allergy
occurs at the same time each year and is often called hay fever. The most
common allergens in seasonal allergies are windblown pollens from trees,
grasses, or weeds, so the symptoms of a seasonal allergy usually occur when
certain plants are in bloom. (Some types of mould also occur seasonally and may
cause similar symptoms.)
Perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR). A year-round
(perennial) allergy occurs any time during the year. The symptoms of a
year-round allergy may be more severe in winter, when people spend more time
indoors. The most common causes of perennial allergies are
animal dander, cockroaches, or mould.
Occupational allergic rhinitis (OAR). Occupational
allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergic reaction to a substance present in
the workplace, such as grain, wood dust, chemicals, or lab animals.