Rhinitis or coryza is a condition of mild or severe irritation and nasal mucous membrane inflammation. It generally leads to runny or stuffy nose, post nasal drip or sneezing. Rhinitis is mainly of two types: allergic and non allergic. Mixed rhinitis is another important type of rhinitis which characterizes the coexistence of both allergic and non allergic rhinitis.
Allergic rhinitis (AR) commonly known as hay fever is a symptomatic disorder inducing allergic response to specific allergens. This condition is characterized by symptoms including continuous or periodic nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, pruritis of the conjunctiva, nasal mucosa and oropharynx, allergic shiners, lacrimation and fatigue. Predisposing factors are a positive family history of similar symptoms and a personal history of collateral allergy manifested as eczematous dermatitis or asthma. AR can be mainly classified based on different types of allergens- seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergens mainly include pollens and molds whereas perennial allergens include dust, mites, pests etc. Classification of AR is also based on whether the symptoms are intermittent or persistent, with categories of mild, and moderate to severe. Its prevalence is ever increasing throughout the globe. In the United States alone it is estimated to affect about 60 million people and among which 10-30% being adults and 40% being children (Min, 2010). In India itself one out of six people suffer from AR. On the other hand, non allergic rhinitis (NAR) is also a symptomatic disorder but without a cause. It involves sneezing, drippy nose, congestion and other symptoms similar to allergic rhinitis but without any apparent cause as no allergic reaction is prominently observed or evident. But certain factors are known to trigger non allergic rhinitis proving chronic or transient symptoms. These factors mainly include environmental, weather, occupational, certain medications or food and beverages and infections. Similarly, mixed rhinitis (MR) is a combination of both allergic and non allergic rhinitis. Sometimes mixed rhinitis may be more common than allergic and non allergic rhinitis.