Nasal Issues in Athletes

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Nasal problems in athletes can have detrimental impacts on athletic performance. Increasingly strenuous physical exercise requires the nasal respiratory system to function efficiently in order to meet the increasing oxygen demand. Generally, nasal issues can be grouped into traumatic and nontraumatic categories. Rhinitis is the most common nasal issue in athletes and can have numerous effects on athletes. Recent studies demonstrate the “J curve” and “open window” theories of upper respiratory infection incidence in athletes yet are unable to link immunoglobulin or serum immune markers to incidence of symptoms or infection. Acute nasal trauma can be misleading; thus, a detailed examination is appropriate. Trauma also can be a cause of chronic nasal issues in athletes, as demonstrated by subsequent decreased olfaction in boxers.

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