UC Research Examines Chronic Sinusitis

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The researchers concluded that the results have important implications for education of patients about CRS and increasing CRS health literacy, particularly in regions where environmental allergies may be both highly prevalent and culturally entrenched, such as the Cincinnati area. The misinterpretation of CRS for allergic rhinitis may lead to patients using AR treatments, which may be ineffective for CRS and therefore prolong the impact on the patient.

“We have seen so many patients suffer for so long due to the confusion between allergies and CRS,” says Sedaghat. “I’ve had patients who tell me that they have been treated with allergy shots for 10, 20 or more years without relief of their symptoms but who after we discovered they had CRS and we started them on appropriate treatment, achieved relief within a few months.

“I’m excited to be able to find a way to empower patients to think about the possibility of CRS and I’m excited that we were able to do it in a way that will be very easy for patients.

“I am also excited to bring light to this very important problem that so many patients in our region are dealing with. Almost 50% of patients who came to see us for what they thought were nasal allergies had CRS,” Sedaghat continued. “Given how commonly we talk about ‘allergies’ in this region, imagine how many patients may be undertreated and how many patients can be positively impacted by seeking out care for the possibility of CRS.”  

The study results suggest specific counseling of individual patients, as well as communities, to consider the possibility of CRS when their nasal obstruction or discharge symptoms reach a moderate or greater level of severity, or if they notice any degree of decreased sense of smell.

“I hope that this study will give us the tools to raise awareness of CRS among the public, in particular the individuals at highest risk to suffer from CRS but not have it be recognized accurately,” Sedaghat says, “and that these tools — for example, easy to use questions for patients to ask themselves — will help the large fraction of patients who are suffering from nasal and "sinus symptoms despite allergy treatments to seek out additional care for CRS. 

“Overall, I believe this study will save and improve a lot of quality of life for patients.”  

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