Diagnosis

A seasonal history or an association with an inhaled allergen is helpful. It is often difficult to associate specific allergens with perennial rhinitis, although late-evening or early-morning symptoms may be seen with dust allergy. Occasionally, improvement of symptoms with a change in environment, such as a vacation, indicates the presence of environmental allergens. A nasal smear, stained with Hansel's stain to identify eosinophils, can support a diagnosis of nasal allergy, but it is not itself diagnostic. An elevated peripheral eosinophil count may be helpful; however, marked allergic symptoms can occur in the absence of blood eosinophilia.

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