Effects of air purifiers on patients with allergic rhinitis: A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study

Kyung Hee Park, Da Woon Sim, Sang Chul Lee, Sunyoung Moon, Eunju Choe, Hyejung Shin, Sung Ryeol Kim, Jae Hyun Lee, Hyung Ho Park, Jung Won Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Exposure to particulate matter (PM) is a well-known risk factor in the triggering and exacerbation of allergic airway dis-ease. Indoor environments, where people spend most of their time, are of utmost importance. To assess the effects of air purifiers [equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters] on allergic rhinitis (AR) in adult patients, we performed a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study. Materials and Methods: Patients with house dust mite (HDM)-induced AR were randomly assigned to either active or mockup (placebo) air-purification groups. Two air purifiers (placed in living room and bedroom) were operated for 6 weeks in each home environment. The primary study endpoint was to achieve improvement in AR symptoms and medication scores. Secondary end-points were to achieve improvement in the quality of life (QoL) and visual analog scale (VAS) scores, as well as in the indoor (bed-room and living room) concentrations of PM2.5 and PM10. Results: After 6 weeks of air purifier use, medication scores improved significantly in the active (vs. placebo) group, although sub-jective measures (symptoms, VAS, and QoL scores) did not differ. Bedroom PM2.5 concentrations initially exceeded living room or outdoor levels, but declined (by up to 51.8%) following active purifier operation. Concentrations of PM2.5 in living room and PM10 in bedroom and living room were also significantly reduced through active purification. Conclusion: The use of air purifiers with HEPA filters significantly reduced medication requirements for patients with HDM-in-duced AR and significantly lowered indoor PM2.5 concentrations, regardless of room placement. Active intervention to reduce household air pollutants may help improve allergic airway disease (clinicaltrials.gov NCT03313453).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-697
Number of pages9
JournalYonsei medical journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Yonsei University College of Medicine 2020.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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