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Friday, March 7, 2014
Allergies and alcohol
Why is it that my allergy symptoms are worse the morning after having a few alcoholic beverages?
It is very common for individuals with `non-allergic rhinitis` to develop congestion after drinking alcohol. This is not a typical allergic reaction. The mechanism for this reaction is not well defined but in part is due to dilation of blood vessels that causes increased blood flow to the nose, leading to swelling of the nasal turbinates (air filters of the nose) and subsequent stuffiness. Treatment of non-allergic rhinitis is with medication. You should see an allergist who can determine whether your symptoms are only due to non-allergic rhinitis or whether you have allergic rhinitis or both conditions. The latter process is called `mixed rhinitis`.
Jonathan Bernstein, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati