A Wright peak flow meter was used with a special mask for evaluating nasal blockage in a clinical drug study. The effect of beclomethasone dipropionate inhaled nasally was studied with PEFRn measurements twice a day in twenty-seven hospital patients with perennial rhinitis. Thirteen patients also had asthma. A statistically significant improvement in PEFRn values during the first 5 days of the active drug period was noted in both the rhinitis and rhinitis-asthma groups.
In the rhinitis-asthma group the nasal blockage index, as calculated from the oral PEFR and PEFRn values, improved significantly during the second period of medication. Patients with rhinitis were found to have a tendency to fluctuating blockage according to the time of the day, the morning generally being poorer than the evening values. The fluctuation partially disappeared at the end of the period of active treatment, which also had a favourable effect on the bronchial obstruction of asthma patients when inhaled nasally, perhaps due to improved nasal respitatory function. The measurement of PEFRn values is, the authors believe, a useful method for measuring changes in nasal blockage of patients with rhinitis and asthma because of its simplicity and rapidity.