Background and Aims: Allergic rhinitis annually reaches epidemic proportions in Japan, and represents a major problem. The application of the CO2 laser in the treatment of allergic rhinitis was first successfully reported in 1982, but CO2 laser ablation is associated with side effects. The Ohshiro Clinic started using the conventional Nd: YAG laser for the treatment of allergic rhinitis in 1993, and from 2005 we started using a diode laser-pumped Nd: YAG laser with efficacy and safety at least equal to the others. Even more recently, we have adopted a novel 808 nm diode laser, and the present retrospective study examined the difference in of the efficacy rate between the preseasonal and intra-seasonal treatment of allergic rhinitis with this system. Subjects and methods: One thousand, two hundred and ten patients primarily presented to the Ohshiro Clinic with allergic rhinitis during the period from December 2010 to April 2011, of whom 531 were selected for blood tests to identify 13 kinds of Japanese allergens including cedar pollen. In the 2010-2011 season, huge clouds of cedar pollen appeared from February 26 th. The subjects were therefore divided into two groups depending on the treatment period, namely the preseasonal and intra-seasonal groups, December 1 st, 2010 to February 25 th, 2011 and February 26 th to April 6 th 2011, respectively. All patients were treated with the new 808 nm diode laser system. Results: A high success rate was achieved in both groups, with no significant difference seen regarding the symptoms of rhinorrhea, obstruction, sneezing, quality of life (QOL) or severity. Conclusions: The 808 nm diode laser offers an excellent solution for the uncomfortable symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and could be equally well applied before or during the Japanese cedar pollen dispersed season.
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