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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1995 Mar;74(3):237-40.

Nasal patency in children with allergic rhinitis: correlation of objective and subjective assessments.

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Health Sciences Clinical Research Centre, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.



Children with allergic rhinitis may have difficulty with self-assessment of nasal symptoms.


To correlate objective and subjective assessments of nasal stuffiness in children with seasonal allergic rhinitis.


Children, aged 6 to 12 years, with seasonal allergic rhinitis recorded their degree of nasal obstruction on two separate occasions using a nasal stuffiness score and a visual analogue scale. Physicians also assessed the degree of nasal obstruction using a visual analogue scale. Anterior rhinometry was performed and saccharin transient time was also measured. Correlations between subjective scores and objective measurements were calculated using Spearman correlation coefficients.


Patient's nasal stuffiness scores correlated with their visual analogue assessment (r = .45, P = .0001). Patients visual analogue assessments did not correlate with anterior nasal airflow (r = -.12, P > .05). Physicians' visual analogue assessment correlated better with nasal airflow than childrens' assessment (r = -.41, P = .0001). Saccharin transit time was not helpful in assessment of degree of nasal obstruction.


Children appear to have difficulty in self-assessment of nasal symptoms, and to be poor judges of the presence or severity of nasal obstruction. In studies of allergic rhinitis in children, objective measurements should be performed, if possible, to facilitate more accurate interpretation of data.

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