Is there really a snot test?
I can confirm now that there is indeed a SNOT test. In fact, it is called the SNOT-22 test. This 22 item questionnaire, Sino-Nasal Outcome Test, is a validated, patient-reported measure of outcome. It is a predictor of improvement after FESS (functional endoscopic sinus surgery) in those patients who have chronic sinus problems.
The 22 questions have a 0 to 5 scale where 0 signifies no problems and 5 indicate maximal problems. These 22 questions are clumped into 4 main categories. These 4 categories are related to:
- Nasal: need to blow nose, runny nose, nasal obstruction, loss of smell or taste, and post nasal drip
- Ear and facial: ear pain, ear fullness, dizziness, and facial pain/pressure
- Quality of life: difficulty falling asleep, wake up at night, wake up tired, fatigue, reduced productivity, and reduced concentration
- Psychological: frustrated/restless/irritable, sad, and embarrassed.
It turns out the 2 clusters of Nasal and Ear and Facial symptoms were significantly improved with sinus surgery. What is interesting in the study that reported on the SNOT-22 test published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in October 2013 by Kennedy, is what factors did NOT predict post-surgical improvement. The presence of allergies or asthma, blood serum level of IgE (allergic antibody), being allergic to aspirin, smoking history, eosinophil count in the blood, and even the severity score of sinus involvement on the sinus CT scan did NOT predict improvement.
The next time you see your ENT surgeon and are considering sinus surgery, ask to take the SNOT-22 test. This tool can help quantify changes in symptoms and can be used to predict the extent of improvement after surgery. The patients with the highest symptom scores tended to have the greatest degree of symptom improvement with sinus surgery.
At Family Allergy & Asthma Care of Montana, we work closely with our ENT colleagues to care for patients with chronic sinusitis. A team approach is helpful.
This information is solely for informational purposes and not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional.