Larger particles entering the nose may be collected by nasal hair present in the anterior nares. Increased hair density could improve filtering efficiency of the nose.
Conversely, reduced amounts of nasal hair could decrease filter efficiency. Reduced filter function of the nose leads to increased exposure of the airways to allergens.
This Turkish study aimed to determine the effect of nasal hair density on the risk of developing asthma in 233 patients with seasonal rhinitis (SR).
Patients were divided into 3 groups according to the amount of nasal hair:
- few (few or none)
Asthma was detected in 32% of patients - and of these, 60% had "pollen asthma".
The rate of asthma was 45%, 26% and 17% in the few, moderate and many groups, respectively. Few nasal hairs significantly increased the risk of developing asthma.
The authors claim that the amount of nasal hair, providing a nose filtration function, has a protective effect on the risk of developing asthma in SR patients. To the best of their knowledge, this is the first report on this subject in the literature.
Rhinitis types, pathological classification (click to enlarge the image).
Treatment Options for Allergic Rhinitis (click to enlarge the image).
Does Nasal Hair (Vibrissae) Density Affect the Risk of Developing Asthma in Patients with Seasonal Rhinitis? Ozturk AB, Damadoglu E, Karakaya G, Kalyoncu AF. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2011 Mar 30;156(1):75-80.
Image source: Wikipedia, a Creative Commons license.
Comments from Twitter:
@doc_rob Can you say "Rogaine nasal spray?" ( Minoxidil, a hair-regrowth medication is marketed under the brand name Rogaine).
@psufka: Uh, cool?... RT @DrVes: People with a lot of nasal hair may be protected against asthma.
@Laccheo: "People with a lot of nasal hair may be protected against asthma” And dates.