Allergic rhinitis and fibromyalgia – what is the link?

Allergic rhinitis and fibromyalgia – what is the link?

Over the years, studies have shown that there may be a link between allergic rhinitis and fibromyalgia. While there is yet to be any conclusive evidence that proves this, allergic rhinitis and problems such as fibromyalgia both affect the body’s defence mechanisms. But what are both of these conditions, what are the symptoms, and what is the link?

What is allergic rhinitis?

Allergic rhinitis is your body’s response to allergens. You experience symptoms that can range from mild side effects like sneezing to more critical symptoms like anaphylaxis. As the word rhinitis suggests, it is all about the impact on your nose.

With pollen allergies specifically, it can feel similar to the symptoms of a cold. Common allergic rhinitis triggers include food, dust, and pet dander. The most common culprit is pollen – also known as hay fever.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, or fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), is a long-term disorder that causes pain all over the body. The condition is thought to affect as many as 1 in 20 people in the UK, and symptoms include:

  • Sensitivity to pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Lack of concentration

There is no direct cause of fibromyalgia, but links exist between the disorder and genetics, prior infections, and stress.


It may be a possibility that fibromyalgia causes muscle tightness and, as a result, puts pressure on the body. This pressure may include the nasal passages and lead to sinus pain. From this, the posture of sufferers may seem as if they are bracing their body against pain.

The sinuses being affected can make it difficult to distinguish between fibromyalgia and allergies – both of which are still misunderstood with little knowledge as to what causes either disorder. Pain in the nose without exposure to allergens may also be a sign of non-allergic rhinitis.

While there isn’t a clear link between the conditions, the symptoms do overlap. If you do experience any of the symptoms listed, then we highly recommend being allergy tested to find out whether allergic rhinitis is the cause.

For a simple home allergy test, why not come to us? Request an allergy test from us or visit our website.

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