Hot off the Presses!
Impact of tobacco smoke on chronic rhinosinusitis: a review of the literature† Douglas D. Reh MD, Thomas S. Higgins MD, Timothy L. Smith MD, MPH, International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology, Volume 2, Issue 5, pages 362–369, September/October 2012
"There is clear evidence in the literature that cigarette smoke, either through active smoking or passive exposure contributes to chronic sinusitis. Recent prospective studies suggest that active smoking is not a contraindication to sinus surgery, although the impact of smoking volume and long-term smoking after sinus surgery has not been sufficiently evaluated."
Dr. Higgins, along with Dr. Douglas Reh from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, recently published an invited review article in Current Opinions in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery that discusses the effect of environmental pollutants on nasal disease. The abstract of the article is available on PubMed here. Many environmental pollutants are associated with chronic rhinitis, including ozone, tobacco smoke (both second-hand and active smoking), particulate matter, and occupational irritants. Some exposures cause local irritation and others can cause severe toxicity to the nasal passages. There are medical options that help limit symptoms, but the most effective therapy is identifying and avoiding the specific exposures.
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