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Smoking is a self-destructive behavior that is known to induce remodeling of the lower airways, leading to squamous metaplasia, but little is known about its effects on the nose and paranasal sinuses. Nasal irrigations are often mentioned as measures for treating sinonasal inflammations. The purpose of our study was to compare the effects of nasal irrigations with sulfurous-arsenical-ferruginous thermal water or isotonic sodium chloride solution in smokers with nonallergic chronic rhinosinusitis, based on clinical and olfactory evidence.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The present study was a prospective, randomized, double-blind study performed in a tertiary academic referral center. Seventy smokers with nonallergic chronic rhinitis were enrolled. Nasal endoscopy, rhinomanometry, nasal cytology, and odor threshold measurements were performed in subjects randomized to daily nasal irrigations with either thermal water or isotonic sodium chloride solution for 1 month.
Immediately after the treatment, the thermal water irrigations revealed a positive pharmacologic action, judging from a tendency toward lower nasal resistances (P = .07) and larger numbers of ciliated cells in the patients treated (P = .003). Endoscopic findings in the thermal water group were still better than in the control group a further 2 months later (P = .03).
Our results indicate that nasal irrigations with thermal water had a good effect on endoscopic objective signs, nasal resistances, and epithelial trophism.