Yoga and meditation have proven to be an alternative drug free treatment for smoking cessation. Allergic Rhinitis is common and has a serious impact on the quality of life of tobacco smokers. There have been no scientific studies done to assess the effect of Yoga on the airway resistances of tobacco smokers. The main objective of the study was to see if yoga can improve airway resistances and hence improve the quality of life in tobacco smokers.
15 smokers with allergic rhinitis were chosen for the study and they underwent an ENT examination. The subjects were taught specific yogasanas and were asked to practice the same for a period of 2 months and reduce the number of cigarettes. The objective analysis and subjective analysis were done before the yoga training and after 2 months of yoga practice. The Objective analysis for upper airway resistance was measured using a Rhinomanometer and the lower airway resistance was measured using a Spirometer. The quality of life analysis was done using the Short form -12 health survey (SF-12) questionnaire and Sino Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT) questionnaire.
The data was analyzed by doing a Paired (2-tailed) T- Test, using the SPSS (Software package for the social sciences) version 16.The mean standard deviation of the nasal airway resistance was found to be 0.36 ± 0.10 Pa/cm3/s before doing yoga and it was 0.30 ± 0.10 Pa/cm3/s at 150 Pa pressure after doing yoga (‘p’ value was <0.01). The mean standard deviation of the FEV1/FVC % before doing yoga was 73.6 ± 18.7 and after doing yoga was 81.8 ± 9.9 (‘p’ value was <0.05). Quality of life questionnaire, SF-12 showed highly significant improvement in both Physical (p<0.05) and Mental (p<0.05) composite score and there was significant reduction in SNOT score (p<0.001) after the practice of yoga.
Results indicate there is an improvement in the nasal airway resistance after the practice of yoga. The quality of life improvement was understood with the help of the SF-12 and SNOT questionnaire. A healthy discipline of yoga as a lifestyle modification also helped the smokers to decrease the number of cigarettes and lead a better life.