Impact of active smoking on nasal functions in patients with allergic rhinitis

Pratibha Chamarajanagara Bhaskara, Anita Ross, Neha Gupta


Background: Allergic rhinitis is an important health problem in view of its prevalence and its impact on patients’ social life, school performance and work productivity. Smoking is known to affect the asthmatic airway inflammation. The additional effect of smoking in impairment of nasal functions in patients with allergic rhinitis is a subject of interest. The aim and objective of this study was to study the effect of active tobacco smoke on mucociliary clearance and olfactory thresholds in allergic rhinitis.

Methods: A descriptive observational pilot study was carried out on 40 patients of allergic rhinitis. Nasal mucociliary clearance was measured by saccharine transit time and olfactory threshold test was measured by butanol threshold test score.  

Results: The saccharine transit time was significantly prolonged in smokers as compared to nonsmokers. Amongst the subgroups of allergic rhinitis mucociliary clearance was found to be more prolonged with the severity of allergic rhinitis. Butanol threshold test scores were significantly lower in smokers when compared to non- smokers. Amongst the subgroups of allergic rhinitis olfactory threshold was found to be lower with the severity of allergic rhinitis.

Conclusions: In the current study we found that nasal functions were significantly impaired in smokers with allergic rhinitis. This indicates that smoking leads to worsening of symptoms in allergic rhinitis.


Allergic rhinitis, Smoking, Saccharine transit time, Butanol threshold test, Nasal mucociliary clearance

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