Rhinitis causes both clinical and social discomfort to patients, and in clinical practice is often underdiagnosed. We have examined a simple method for the assessment of a positive nasal provocation test to help in the diagnosis of rhinitis. In patients with histories suggestive of house dust mite (HDM) sensitivity and positive skin-prick tests or specific IgE to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, there was a fall in nasal inspiratory peak flow (NIPF) following nasal challenge with allergen. This was not seen in control subjects or in pollen-sensitive patients when challenged with house dust mite. Frequency of sneezing and degree of rhinorrhoea increased in these patients following challenge, and based on these findings we propose a simplified scoring system for the diagnosis of allergic rhinitis. We examined non-specific nasal reactivity using hyperosmolar solutions as a challenge system and found that allergic subjects responded with a fall in NIPF, although the clinical response was not identical to that seen with allergen. Control subjects did not respond to hyperosmolar challenge.