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Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2004 May;4(3):193-9.

Rhinitis and sleep apnea.

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Clinic of Asthma, Allergology, and Clinical Immunology, Medical University-Sofia, University Hospital Alexandrovska, Bulgaria.


The nose and pharynx begin the upper airway system and represent a continuum. This is the biologic basis for the mutual influences of rhinitis and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Sleep-disordered breathing has a large differential diagnosis that includes snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and severe OSA. Nasal obstruction is an independent risk factor for OSA, but there is no correlation of daytime nasal resistance with the severity of OSA. However, nasal resistance was an independent predictor of apnea-hypopnea index in a recent study of nonobese OSA patients. Rhinitis alone is associated with mild OSA, but commonly causes microarousals and sleep fragmentation. Reduction of nasal inflammation with topical treatment improves sleep quality and subsequent daytime sleepiness and fatigue. Patient compliance with the nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) device is relatively low, in part due to adverse nasal effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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