Narrow-band red light phototherapy in perennial allergic rhinitis and nasal polyposis

Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 1997 Apr;78(4):399-406. doi: 10.1016/S1081-1206(10)63202-4.


Background: Allergic rhinitis and nasal polyposis are common nasal diseases, but the available treatment modalities have only limited success.

Objective: To assess the therapeutic effect of low-energy narrow-band red light phototherapy on nasal clinical symptoms of allergic rhinitis and nasal polyposis.

Methods: In a double-blind randomized prospective study, 50 patients with allergic rhinitis and 10 with nasal polyposis received intranasal illumination at 660 nm for 4.4 minutes three times a day for 14 days (total dose 6 joules per day). Twenty-nine rhinitic patients and one patient with polyposis received equivalent sham illumination as placebo. Evaluation was based on symptom scores and a clinical assessment that included pre-treatment and post-treatment videotaped rigid and flexible nasendoscopy.

Results: Following treatment, improvement of symptoms was reported by 72% of the allergic rhinitis patients and objective improvement was endoscopically demonstrated in 70% of them as compared with 24% and 3%, respectively, in the placebo group. These differences were significant. No improvement was obtained in any of the patients with polyposis.

Conclusions: Allergic rhinitis, if uncomplicated by polyps or chronic sinusitis, can be effectively treated by narrow-band red light illumination of the nasal mucosa at 660 nm, with marked alleviation of clinical symptoms. Whenever possible, candidates for phototherapy should be selected by endoscopic examination.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Child
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasal Obstruction / therapy
  • Nasal Polyps / therapy*
  • Phototherapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / therapy*
  • Video Recording