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Allergic Rhinitis Differential Diagnoses

  • Author: Javed Sheikh, MD; Chief Editor: Michael A Kaliner, MD  more...
Updated: Feb 16, 2015

Diagnostic Considerations

Vasomotor rhinitis or nonallergic rhinitis

Gustatory rhinitis (vagally mediated)

Rhinitis medicamentosa (eg, due to topical decongestants, antihypertensives, cocaine abuse)

Hormonal rhinitis (eg, related to pregnancy, hypothyroidism, oral contraceptive use)

Anatomic rhinitis (eg, deviated septum, choanal atresia, adenoid hypertrophy, foreign body, nasal tumor)


Immotile cilia syndrome (ciliary dyskinesis)

Cerebrospinal fluid leak

Nasal polyps

Granulomatous rhinitis (eg, Wegener granulomatosis, sarcoidosis)

Differential Diagnoses

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Javed Sheikh, MD Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Clinical Director, Division of Allergy and Inflammation, Clinical Director, Center for Eosinophilic Disorders, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Javed Sheikh, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology

Disclosure: Received grant/research funds from Genentech for other.


Umer Najib, MD Clinical Research Fellow, Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Inflammation, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Stephen C Dreskin, MD, PhD Professor of Medicine, Departments of Internal Medicine, Director of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Practice, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Stephen C Dreskin, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Clinical Immunology Society, Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, American Association of Immunologists

Disclosure: Received consulting fee from Genentech for consulting; Received grant support from NIH for research; Received consulting fee from Clinical Immunization and Safety Assessment (CISA) Network (administered by Vanderbilt University) for consulting; Received consulting fee from o Member, Medical Expert Panel, Division of Vaccine Injury Compensation (DVIC), Department of Health and Human Services. for med legal reviews; Received consulting fee from o Member, Medical Expert Panel, Vaccine Review, Pfize.

Chief Editor

Michael A Kaliner, MD Clinical Professor of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine; Medical Director, Institute for Asthma and Allergy

Michael A Kaliner, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, American Association of Immunologists, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Thoracic Society, Association of American Physicians

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

William F Schoenwetter, MD Consultant in Allergic Diseases, Brainerd Medical Center, Brainerd, Minnesota

William F Schoenwetter, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Minnesota Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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