Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) describes a number of lung diseases, from bronchitis to emphysema, each caused by long term damage to the lungs. New research in Respirology has explored a possible link between COPD and nasal dyspnea, a condition which leads to obstruction of the airways to the nose.
The research team recruited 274 COPD patients, who were either current or ex-smokers. Of these, 42%, 115, reported chronic nasal symptoms associated with dyspnea. The average age of the COPD patients was 65, in contrast prevalence of nasal dyspnea across the population more generally is less than 10% in over 60's.
The results suggest that chronic nasal symptoms may be more frequent in patients with COPD than in the general population. They also show that, in some patients, dyspnea represents a manifestation of nasal and bronchial inflammatory responses to cigarette smoke.
"Chronic nasal symptoms are associated with nasal dyspnea. Investigating dyspnea symptoms in COPD patients could be important, since a specific nasal treatment may be able to improve quality of life in these patients," said Dr. Denis Caillaud.