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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 154-163

Occupational rhinitis revisited: Emphasis on the risk factors in Saudi industry

Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Dammam, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Seifeddin G Ballal
College of Medicine, University of Dammam, P.O. Box 1982, Dammam 31441
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1658-631X.188254

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The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) Task Force defines occupational rhinitis (OR) as “an inflammatory disease of the nose, which is characterized by intermittent or persistent symptoms (i.e., nasal congestion, sneezing, rhinorrea, itching), and/or variable nasal airflow limitation and/or hypersecretion arising out of causes and conditions attributable to a particular work environment and not to stimuli encountered outside the workplace.” The objectives of this review are to highlight the causes of OR in industrial settings in Saudi Arabia in order to alert primary healthcare physicians and other healthcare providers of the importance of diagnosing and managing OR to prevent further complications and present to the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) evidence of the existence of OR in Saudi industrial sector. The literature search yielded no publications from Saudi Arabia that have investigated the prevalence of OR, but it is expected to be high judging from the high prevalence of allergic rhinitis in the country. The occupational groups that are at risk of developing OR include workers in the petrochemical industry, healthcare personnel, livestock and bird breeders, bakers, farmers, housewives and other occupations all of which are present in Saudi Arabia. Clinic and industry based research within Saudi Arabia is recommended to determine the prevalence of OR and to alert healthcare providers to suspect OR in all symptomatic working adults, including housewives and domestic helpers. Use of EAACI algorithm for the diagnosis and management of this condition will help to manage the condition and prevent the deterioration and further complications. Furthermore, diagnosis using internationally recognized guidelines and the results of the suggested epidemiologic surveys may convince GOSI to recognize OR as an occupational disease.

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