Chronic Rhinitis

Medically reviewed by Carina Fung, PharmD, BCPPS

Chronic rhinitis diagnosis

If you suspect that you or your child has rhinitis, you should see a healthcare provider for advice, diagnosis, and treatment.

Allergy testing

A healthcare provider or allergy specialist will be able to determine whether you have allergies. If you do, he or she can also identify the allergen(s) causing your symptoms.

When conducting diagnostic testing for hay fever, your healthcare provider will often begin by consulting your medical history and conducting a physical examination. He or she may also opt for further testing in order to determine what substances you are allergic to.

Some of the allergy tests13 a healthcare provider may conduct include:

  • A skin prick test: A healthcare provider (usually an allergy specialist) will prick a small amount of material that can trigger allergic reactions into the skin on your arm or back. He or she will then watch your skin to see whether you develop raised bumps (or hives) at the site of particular allergens, which indicate an allergy to those particular substances.
  • An allergy blood test: Providers may take a sample of blood and send it to a lab, which will detect your immune response to specific allergens by measuring the amount of allergy-causing antibodies in your bloodstream.
  • Provider-supervised challenge tests: Under the supervision of your healthcare provider, you may inhale or ingest a small amount of an allergen by mouth. This test is usually used to determine possible medication or food allergies. Provider supervision is crucial due to the risk of anaphylaxis, a severe and life-threatening allergic reaction.

There is no one test that is able to diagnose an allergy—allergy testing is just one of the many ways with which your provider will be able to give you a proper diagnosis.

It is important to keep in mind that a positive skin test result alone cannot diagnose an allergy and does not predict the severity of an allergic reaction. A negative skin test result, however, usually indicates that you are not allergic to a specific substance.

Nonallergic rhinitis diagnosis

A diagnosis of nonallergic rhinitis14 is based on your symptoms and is often made after a diagnosis of allergic rhinitis has been ruled out.

Your healthcare provider will generally inquire about your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and consult your medical history. He or she may conclude that you have nonallergic rhinitis based on symptoms alone.

While your healthcare provider may opt for further testing, there are no specific tests for diagnosing nonallergic rhinitis. If your provider believes your rhinitis to be caused by sinus problems (such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps), he or she may request or conduct an imaging test to view your sinuses.

Image testing for sinus abnormalities includes:

  • A nasal endoscopy: This test looks inside your nasal passage using a thin, fiber-optic instrument called an endoscope. The endoscope is passed through your nostrils to examine your nasal passages and sinuses.
  • A computerized tomography (CT) scan: CT scans use a computerized X-ray to produce detailed images of your sinuses.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

If you are in crisis or you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.