Rhinitis is a nasal condition which is generally underappreciated in primary care and even less in athletes. In this study, the authors specify nasal symptoms constituting rhinitis as nasal blockage, sneezing bouts, rhinorrhoea and itching and compare their prevalence in 246 ‘active individuals’ who did more than four hours of aerobic exercises a week with 50 ‘sedentary’ controls who exercised less. It was noted that the active individuals had a higher prevalence of nasal symptoms compared to the sedentary group. In the active sub-group with nasal symptoms, there was also a higher frequency of URTI compared to those without nasal symptoms. This may be due to inflammation induced by intense exercise. In both the active and sedentary group, there was a higher mean SNOT-22 score for those who suffered with nasal symptoms. In keeping with the Allergic Rhinitis and its impact on Asthma (ARIA) concept, an association of asthma with nasal symptoms is highlighted in this study. It showed that a third of the athletes with nasal symptoms used asthma medication. The message that strongly rings out is that physicians should treat nasal disease to achieve good asthma control. How ironic that regular aerobic exercise should lead to poor quality of life through nasal symptoms further leading to increased frequency of URTI, but as the study reveals itself, athletes appear to be less caring in using medication for their nasal symptoms.

Nasal disease and quality of life in athletes.
Walker AC, Surda P, Rossiter M, Little SA.
Share This
Madhup K Chaurasia

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, UK.

View Full Profile