Rhinology. 2021 Jul 20. doi: 10.4193/Rhin21.091. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a frequent condition that is treated by endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) when medical treatment fails. Irritating or sensitizing airborne agents can contribute to uncontrolled CRS. A prior study showed a linear correlation between occupational exposure and the number of ESS.
METHODS: In this cross-sectional study we tested the hypothesis that occupational exposure is a risk for undergoing ESS. We sent questionnaires enquiring occupational exposure in patients with CRS with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) or CRS without nasal polyps (CRSsNP). An expert assessed blindly the reported work exposures to inhaled agents. The relationship between occupational exposure on undergoing ESS was analysed.
RESULTS: Among all patients who underwent ESS (n=343), 30% reported a relevant occupational exposure, which is significantly higher than the 4.8% found among CRS patients that underwent no prior sinus surgery (n=21). Besides occupational exposure, self-reported doctor-diagnosed asthma were independent variables contributing to the chance of undergoing ESS.
CONCLUSION: In our study we confirm occupational exposure as a risk factor for uncontrolled CRS, if defined by undergoing ESS. In CRS patients with uncontrolled symptoms, despite maximal conservative therapy, the clinician should explore the possible contribution of occupational exposure.
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