AbstractPurpose of review
This review updates existing knowledge on occupational rhinitis based on epidemiological and clinical research studies published from 2003 to 2005.Recent findings
The review covers new developments on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, monitoring and management of occupational rhinitis. This article also provides updated information on the prevalence and incidence of both occupational rhinitis and work-related symptoms of rhinitis, as well as on causal agents and personal risk factors associated with this condition.Summary
Occupational rhinitis is frequently under-diagnosed due to a lack of physician awareness. Diagnosis is suspected when symptoms occur in relation to work. Differentiating between immunological sensitization and irritation may be difficult. Given the high prevalence of rhinitis in the general population from all causes, objective tests confirming the occupational origin are essential. Measures of inflammatory parameters via nasal lavage and objective assessment of nasal congestion both offer practical means of monitoring responses. Growing experience with acoustic rhinometry and peak nasal inspiratory flow suggests that these methods will have an increasingly important role in monitoring and diagnosing in the future. Recent findings indicate that work-related rhinitis is to some extent preventable. Surveillance of sensitized workers may allow early detection of occupational rhinitis.