Population studies suggest that as many as 75% of patients with COPD have concomitant nasal symptoms and that more than 30% of patients with sinusitis also have lower airway symptoms of asthma or COPD. Given that the upper and lower airway lining have similar exposure to allergens and react with a similar inflammatory response, it is common for rhinitis and sinusitis to coexist with COPD. Several possible mechanisms have been proposed to explain this combined upper and lower airway dysfunction. These include the naso-tracheal-bronchial reflex, inflammatory effects caused by smoking, mouth breathing because of nasal obstruction, and pulmonary aspiration of post nasal drainage. Postnasal drainage produced by exposure to nasal inflammatory mediators during sleep may also have a role in creating lower airway inflammatory reactivity.
Research has reported that the impact of nasal symptoms on COPD is associated with impairment to quality of life. This conclusion was substantiated using the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT) questionnaire, a validated disease-specific health status tool and showed that SNOT scores were significantly worse in the subjects with COPD. Also, it was found that a history of sinusitis was significantly more likely to be present in the patients who experienced frequent COPD exacerbations. Sinonasal symptoms are associated with health status impairment in patients with COPD and the presence of sinusitis is associated with more frequent COPD exacerbations.
These conclusions suggest that therapeutic nasal intervention might be an important adjunctive approach to therapy in COPD. It is no surprise that therapy directed at treating nasal and sinus disease is associated with improved pulmonary function in patients with COPD. An effective nasal therapeutic approach might not only reduce nasal symptoms, and thereby improve overall health status, but also affect clinically important lower airway symptoms and COPD exacerbation frequency.
If you struggle with COPD and the nasal symptoms that exist alongside this condition, you may benefit from nasal rinsing.
ResQRinse is a new nasal rinsing system that uses a Nasal Lock™ approach, which keeps the saline solution in your sinuses, rather than running down your throat. To learn more about the wonders ResQRinse can do for you, please contact us.
About the Author: Dr. Stephen Chandler, MD ENT is the co-inventor of the ResQRinse® nasal irrigation system and serves as clinical advisor for SinOptim. He is Board Certified in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, and graduated in 1997 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Doctorate in Medicine. In 2002, Dr. Chandler completed an extensive residency program in Morgantown, West Virginia at West Virginia University.
Sinus disease is a specialty of Dr. Chandler’s. He has completed over 20,000 sinus procedures since joining Montgomery Otolaryngology in 2002. Dr. Chandler is a pioneer in Sinus Balloon Dilation, an in office procedure that gives immediate relief with no downtime. Dr. Chandler has authored numerous publications.