Does Nasal Hair (Vibrissae) Density Affect the Risk of Developing Asthma in Patients with Seasonal Rhinitis?

ÖZTÜRK B., Damadoglu E., Karakaya G., Kalyoncu A. F.

INTERNATIONAL ARCHIVES OF ALLERGY AND IMMUNOLOGY, vol.156, no.1, pp.75-80, 2011 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Background: Large particles entering the nose are collected by nasal hair present in the anterior nares. Increased hair density provides an improvement in the filtering efficiency of the nose, while reduced amounts of nasal hair cause a decrease in its efficiency. The amount of nasal hair can vary between individuals, which can make a difference in the filtering efficiency of the nose. Reduced filter function of the nose leads to increased exposure of the airways to allergens. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of nasal hair density on the risk of developing asthma in seasonal rhinitis (SR) patients. Methods: A standard questionnaire was filled in, and physical examination and allergy tests were performed in 233 patients. Patients were divided into 3 groups according to the amount of nasal hair [few (few or none), moderate and many]. The association between asthma and nasal hair density was assessed. Results: Asthma was detected in 75 patients (32.2%), and of these, 45 (60%) also had pollen asthma. The rate of asthma was 44.7, 26.2 and 16.7% in the few, moderate and many groups, respectively (p = 0.002). Few nasal hairs significantly increased the risk of developing asthma [odds ratio (95% confidence interval): few, reference; moderate, 0.41 (0.21-0.78); many, 0.19 (0.06-0.55); p = 0.002]. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the amount of nasal hair providing a nose filtration function has a protective effect on the risk of developing asthma in SR patients. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on this subject in the literature. Copyright (C) 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel