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Physical Exam for Allergic Rhinitis

Topic Overview

To help diagnose allergic rhinitis, your doctor will examine your:

  • Eyes, to see if they are swollen, teary, or red, or if you have other signs of long-term (chronic) allergies.
  • Nose, for swollen nasal mucous membranes and structural defects.
  • Ears, for fluid in the middle ear and the appearance of the eardrum.
  • Sinus areas, for tenderness and signs of infection.
  • Mouth, to see whether you have changes from breathing only through your mouth.
  • Back of throat, for signs of postnasal drip or infection, such as red, raised, bumpy tissue.
  • Chest and lungs, for signs of infection or asthma.
  • Skin, for signs of allergy, such as hives or eczema.

Children with allergic rhinitis may have the:

  • "Allergic salute." Your child may often rub his or her nose upward with the palm of the hand to reduce itching and to open the nasal passages.
  • "Allergic crease." Your child may often rub his or her nose and have a crease on the bridge of the nose.
  • "Allergic shiner." Your child may have dark color under the eyes caused by long-term nasal blockage and swelling under the eyes.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology
Last Revised June 17, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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