What causes pediatric allergic rhinitis?

Updated: Jun 04, 2021
  • Author: Jack M Becker, MD; Chief Editor: Harumi Jyonouchi, MD  more...
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Answer

AR is caused by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)–mediated reaction to various allergens in the nasal mucosa. The most common allergens include dust mites, pet danders, cockroaches, molds, and pollens. For example, tree pollen allergen binds to IgE antibodies that are attached to a mast cell via Fcε receptor. When 2 IgE molecules bind to the same tree pollen allergen, they cause the mast cell to fire off (degranurate), leading to release of various inflammatory mediators that cause the symptoms we recognize as AR, including sneezing; nasal congestion; stuffiness; rhinorrhea (runny nose); cough; itching of the nose, eyes, and throat; sinus pressure; headache; and epistaxis (bloody nose).


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