You know the saying, “wake up and smell the roses.” Well, for a lot of my patients, smelling roses or for that matter, any flowers, trees or grasses at this time of year may give them a severe allergic response. So when a walk in the park is no walk in the park, what can an allergy sufferer do?
Well a new device that you wear in your nose–about the size of a contact lens and works like a miniature air filter for a furnace–might make life easier for some of the estimated 500 million people worldwide who suffer from itching, sneezing and a runny nose as soon as the pollen season starts.
Known under the brand name, Rhinix, the filter is supposed to be on market this spring and claims significant reduction in spring allergy symptoms.
The filter was developed from the results of a study by a medical team from Aarhus University in Denmark; the results were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
The Journal states that “the research group included 24 people with a known allergy to grass pollen. They were exposed to a amount of grass pollen for 30 minutes at a time until they had 210 minutes of exposure. One time they wore the device without the filtering membrane ( a placebo used for comparison). Another time they wore the device with the filtering membrane.”
The filtering membrane “helped reduce nasal symptoms by 21 percent. Daily itching was decreased by 36 percent, daily runny nose dropped by 12 percent, daily sneezing reduced by 45 percent and throat irritation was reduced by 75 percent.”
The lead author of the study, Peter Kenney said that the filter is disposable and is only meant for daily use. He said “some people will probably use it the entire day whereas others might just use them when they are in an exposed environment (such as a park).”
Since the filters are held together by a small plastic ring, there have been comments that for some, it may prove uncomfortable or not cosmetically pleasing.
Also commenting on the Journal’s study was Dr. Mark Glaum, vice chair of the rhinitis, rhinosinusitis and ocular allergy committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, who expressed reservations on the study saying, “the changes in the individual’s symptoms weren’t huge, but for people with just nasal symptoms, it might help to a degree.” He also expressed the hope that a larger study on a group of people be conducted to see if they had the same results.
To learn more, visit http://www.nycallergydoctor.com/allergyTweet