Also known as ‘hay fever’ because it commonly occurs in hay cutting season: spring. It is usually caused by airborne pollens from pasture grasses, some weeds and trees. This seasonal rhinitis can extend into summer. Constant (perennial) rhinitis is customarily caused by an allergy to dust mites, parasites that breed in autumn and winter, and thrive inside mattresses, pillows, carpets, old sofas and soft toys. Mites are human parasites, and feast on our skin flakes and hair fragments. This form of allergy, or an intermittent one, can be caused by allergies to the microscopic airborne breeding spores of moulds. Cat, dog and horse danders can also feature. All of the above allergies can be treated by desensitization.

Food and Yeast (baker’s, brewer’s and candida) allergies can cause rhinitis, most commonly perennial. Theoretically any food can be an allergen should the immune system (IS) be appropriately disturbed. Diets are deployed to unmask the food allergen (or allergens). Firstly a mild preliminary diet, then, if required, a restricted elimination diet – BUT only for two weeks. Foods are sequentially added in (tests or challenges) to reproduce typical symptoms. These are nearly all DELAYED (reactions can be from 20 mins to 36 hours later) food allergies, which work via a different IS pathway to the immediate kind. After a year of strict avoidance of culprit foods patients have a 50% chance of recovery.