There are useful guidelines for management of allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR), and nasal spray technique, on the BSACI website at www.bsaci.org



A detailed history is vital for diagnosis and identifying the likely allergen e.g. house dust mite, pollens, cat, dog, horse, hamsters etc

Younger children – no tests usually needed, history gives an obvious source a lot of the time.

If older patient – Specific IgE from Primary Care based on history eg House dust mite and other common aeroallergens can be helpful, but if there is a clear trigger tests are not required 


  • Nasal saline douching eg. Sterimar in older patients
  • Nasal steroids - there is good safety data for long term use in children for fluticasone (from age 4), mometasone (from age 6) and budesonide (from age 12)
  • Antihistamines - for optimal results give continuously or prophylactically e.g. prior to exposure to known allergen as opposed to ‘as required’.  Desloratidine licensed from age 1; cetirizine (SAR) and loratidine from age 2;  fexofenadine (SAR) and cetirizine from age 6; fexofenadine from age 12.
  • Different antihistamines can be trialled, and some children need ‘double dosing’
  • Leukotriene receptor antagonists may have a role, particularly if child has concomitant asthma



Refer to Allergy Clinic:

Patients with very troublesome symptoms with poor quality of life, who are already on optimal treatment as per BSACI guidelines and already seen by ENT team.



No need to refer if:

  • Families are asking for referral to see if pets need re-housing / can be purchased
  • Families are asking for tests to prove that mould / old pet hair is causing a problem in rental properties or another family member’s house


                           January 2022

Review Date               January 2023


Authors:                     Simon Bedwani, Consultant Paediatrician, RCHT

                                    Dr S Burns GP RMS



Version No.  1.2