A subjective feeling of nasal airflow obstruction is a common symptom. An objective method for quantitative measurement of nasal airflow has long been desired. Rhinomanometry and acoustic rhinometry have been developed for anatomical and physiological evaluation of nasal obstruction. This study was designed to determine the usefulness of a portable spirometer in assessing upper airway obstruction.
One hundred and ninety-six patients were assessed with nasal inspiratory spirometry to determine nasal airflow. All patients also underwent paranasal sinus computed tomography to determine anatomical abnormalities. Spirometry was performed on each nostril separately.
Sensitivity and specificity levels were high. This portable and easy to use device may be useful in respiratory assessment. Correlation between anatomical obstructions and subjects' complaints was statistically significant (p < 0.001), but no definite correlation between septal deviation severity and spirometric values was found.
Portable spirometry is an objective and useful method of evaluating nasal obstruction, but needs more investigation to establish a standardised test.
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