Although allergic rhinitis is not generally a serious condition, it can be a nuisance that interferes with your life in inconvenient ways. Severe symptoms can cause you to miss school or work. They can also disrupt your sleep, which can in turn affect your productivity and well-being during the day.
If you have hay fever that is not properly treated, sinusitis—which usually results from colds—is much more likely to affect you than those who do not have allergic rhinitis. Sinuses are the cavities behind the cheekbones in the areas around the eyes and nose. Sinusitis is a long-lasting, often painful inflammation of the sinuses that is marked by symptoms that often go beyond those of hay fever. They include:
- A persistent cough
- Green or gray nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Achiness in the face
Ear Infection (otitis media)
Middle ear infections, also called otitis media, are very common among children—85 percent of children have had one at least once before the age of three. Allergic rhinitis is known to bring about or exacerbate the symptoms of middle ear infections in young children.
If you have asthma, hay fever and perennial allergic rhinitis can aggravate your symptoms.