Two types of allergic rhinitis are differentiated: seasonal rhinitis caused in particular by pollen allergens, and the perennial form caused by such year-round allergens as house dust (mites), moulds and animal hair. The diagnosis is based on a comprehensive history (family/occupation/environment), clinical symptoms, a rhinoscopic examination, and testing for allergens, e.g. conjunctival tests, prick test or nasal provocative test. The treatment of choice is elimination of the allergens as completely as possible. An additional causal therapeutic option is specific immune therapy (SIT) which, however, is contraindicated in the presence of intercurrent infections, use of beta blockers and immunodeficiency. Available medications include mast cell stabilizers, antihistaminic agents and corticosteroids, which are applied in stepped fashion, depending upon severity. In addition, adjuvant surgical measures may improve obstructive symptoms.