Ear, Nose and Throat - U.S.A.  (ENT USA) Smoking and Rhinitis (The effects of tobacco usage on the nose)
Smoking &  Rhinitis
Smoking and Rhinitis



Smoker's Rhinitis:  Tobacco smoke contains hundreds of chemicals and at least twenty of which have been implicated in cancer. Smoking irritates the lining of the nose, increasing nasal secretions and swelling. The nose becomes less able to cleanse itself and more susceptible to allergens. Smoking and secondhand smoke is associated with significant nasal and sinus disease and symptoms.  View Abstract  If you smoke, all the treatments in this section are less likely to be effective.     GO TO:  www.tobaccofacts.info


In my (Dr. Kevin Kavanagh's) experience, if you smoke, decongestants, antihistamines and nasal steroids are of little help.  In my practice, I have not had a single allergic patient who smokes improve with allergy shots.  Some doctors will not even allergy test patients that smoke, and for the most part I follow this practice.  

Unfortunately, most patients have caused irreversible damage to the lining of their nose and quitting smoking does not improve their symptoms.  Many patients experience a worsening of their symptoms since goblet cell (cells that secrete nasal fluids)
hypertrophy takes place which increases nasal secretions.  Because cillary function (micro hair structures which clean the nose) is often permanently damaged, these secretions are not cleared and the patient may experience worsening over many months of his/her symptoms.  The best treatment is to quit smoking and use hypertonic saline nasal irrigations in combination with the use of nasal steroids.  However, as with patients with chronic lung disease from smoking, patients with smoker's rhinitis, seldom return to a completely normal state.
IF YOU SMOKE..QUIT!!        Search PubMed for Smoking and Rhinitis       



Shown to the right, is a picture of a dry pale inside of a nose in a 100 pack/year  patient with smokers rhinitis.





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Kevin T Kavanagh,  All Rights Reserved

Page Last Updated 08/24/2023 
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