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OTORINOLARINGOLOGIA

A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery


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Otorinolaringologia 2012 March;62(1):39-45

language: English

Current concepts of occupational rhinitis

Castano R. 1, 2

1 Department of Surgery/Otolaryngology, Sacré-Coeur de Montréal Hospital, Montreal, Canada;
2 Respiratory Research Division, Sacré-Coeur de Montréal Hospital, Montreal, Canada


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This review addresses current knowledge on early recognition, diagnosis and management of Occupational Rhinitis (OR). OR is a respiratory disease caused by exposure to allergens or irritants in the workplace. The raising interest in OR relies on the fact that this condition is more frequent than occupational asthma and has important impact on work productivity. Besides, it is regarded as an early disease in the progression to occupational asthma. The diagnosis of OR constitutes a challenge;subjects do not seek medical attention because of the presence of nasal symptoms and physicians do not inquiry about the relationship of nasal symptoms with the work environment. A comprehensive medical and occupational history is crucial to recognize OR and to identify potential causal agents. The diagnosis of OR should be confirmed by objective testing including assessment of specific sensitization and performing nasal challenge test in the laboratory to reproduce nasal symptoms with the suspected occupational agent. The basic principle of management continues to be an effective control of environmental factors by implementing effective industrial hygiene strategies to reduce the levels of exposure. Active cases of OR should be treated following current guidelines to treat allergic and nonallergic rhinitis in the general population.

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