Purpose of review: The upper and lower airways are inter-related despite serving different functions and can no longer be considered separately. Rhinologists are becoming increasingly aware of the role the lower airway plays in optimizing outcomes for their patients. This review highlights recent developments in pulmonology that impact rhinologic conditions.
Recent findings: The unified airway concept now supports the multidisciplinary management of respiratory and rhinologic pathologies. Biomarkers, biologics and the concept of treatable traits have permitted the development of personalized and precise treatment of the entire respiratory tract. The concept of corticosteroid stewardship, the introduction of steroid sparing agents for the treatment of respiratory diseases and the development of biomarkers, now forces us to be more considerate and precise with oral corticosteroid (OCS) prescribing and to consider reduction regimens. Finally, current research on climate change and vaping will allow us to better educate and prepare our patients to improve adherence and avoid exacerbations to maintain optimal global respiratory health.
Summary: The inter-relatedness of the upper and lower airway has encouraged a multidisciplinary focus in respiratory medicine. More research is required to improve the precision respiratory medicine model, particularly in the realm of biomarkers and endotyping. These developments must also consider the impact of climate change, pollution and toxins for us to provide optimum care for our patients.
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