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Hayfever worsens lung function over time

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People suffering from allergic rhinitis will over time experience a progressive worsening of their nasal passage functioning, Italian study findings suggest.

The degree to which this occurs depends on how long patients have the disorder, according to the study to be published in the journal Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery.

The authors said that while it was well-known that asthma was characterised by airway re-modelling, few studies had previously investigated this issue in patients with allergic rhinitis.
They studied 100 patients, 50 with short-term rhinitis and 50 with long-term – nine years on average.

They found those who experienced longer bouts with the disorder had significantly lower airflow in their nasal passages. Furthermore, 72% of the patients with long-term rhinitis had 'severe' nasal obstruction, the authors said.

Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (2008) 138: 725-729.

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