2020 Mar 13;10:9. eCollection 2020.
Background: Nasal irrigations (NI) are increasingly used as an over-the-counter adjunctive treatment for allergic rhinitis (AR), but clinical studies on their effectiveness are limited.
Methods: An open-label, controlled, non-randomized, real-life study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of NI with a new hypertonic solution as add-on treatment for AR. Children and adolescents with AR were prescribed symptomatic treatment. The active group also received an additional sea-water NI solution supplemented with algae extracts. The primary endpoint was symptom control, assessed by the control of allergic rhinitis and asthma test (CARAT) questionnaires. Moreover, the MASK/Allergy Diary was used to track symptoms and daily medication use that were combined in a novel total symptom/medication score (TSMS).
Results: We assessed 76 patients. Overall, there was a significant improvement of CARAT results (median Z-score change of 1.1 in the active/NI group vs. 0.4 in the control group; p = 0.035). Among patients > 12 years old (n = 51), there was a significant improvement in CARAT10 results among participants receiving NI (21.0 to 25.5; p < 0.001), but not in the regular treatment group (21.5 to 24.0; p = 0.100). For children < 12 years old (n = 25), the ΝΙ group had significantly improved symptom control (CARATKids results: 5.0 to 2.0; p = 0.002), in contrast to the control group (4.0 to 2.5; p = 0.057). MASK data on allergic symptoms were comparable between groups. However, the NI group had lower TSMS, more days with < 20% symptoms and fewer days using symptomatic treatment (26.9% vs. 43.5%; p = 0.005).
Conclusion: Addition of NI with a sea-water solution to regular treatment improved AR symptom control. CARAT questionnaires and MASK application can be useful outcome tools in real-life studies.