Allergic Rhinitis

Also known as hay fever or simply allergies, Allergic Rhinitis is a type of inflammation in the nose that happens when your immune system overreacts to allergens in the air.

In most cases:

  • You have sneezing fits, repeatedly, especially first thing in the morning
  • You have a runny nose and post-nasal drip. Although abundant, it is usually clear and thin. If you develop a nasal or sinus infection, it may become thicker and cloudy
  • Your eyes are swollen
  • Some or all are itchy:
    • Your eyes
    • Your nose
    • your ears
    • your throat

Allergic rhinitis is typically triggered by exposure to environmental allergens such as:

  • Pollen
  • Animal dander (loose skin cells like dandruff)
  • Dust
  • Mold

In the workplace, you may find you are allergic to:

  • Cereal grain
  • Wood dust
  • Chemicals
  • Lab animals

If you are allergic to pollens, you may have symptoms only at certain times of the year. If you are allergic to dust mites and indoor allergens, you may have symptoms all the time.

Discuss with your pharmacist about your options, the symptoms you have, when you get them, and what makes them worse or better. Depending on the frequency and severity of your symptoms your pharmacist may refer you to another healthcare provider.

Prevention and Avoidance

One of the best things you can do is to avoid the things that cause your allergies. You may need to clean your house often to get rid of dust, animal dander, or moulds. Or you may need to stay indoors when pollen counts are high.


Allergies can be treated with saline rinses and nasal gels. Ask your pharmacist for more information on these options.

Over-the-counter medicine can be taken orally or intranasally to control symptoms. Your Saskatchewan pharmacist can guide you to choose the medicine that works best for you.

Prescription by pharmacist: your Saskatchewan pharmacist is authorized to prescribe a treatment for allergic rhinitis.