New, FDA-Approved Treatment Helps Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion can be treated with over-the-counter medication, prescription drugs or even surgery as a last resort. But now, an FDA-approved therapy means patients can be treated in the doctor's office and avoid the unpleasant side effects and recovery time of an invasive treatment.

David Gorovoy said he has had a tough time breathing through his nose for years. It's especially hard on the medical resident who is often on duty or on call.

"Mainly. I wasn't getting a great night sleep and I would snore too," he said.

Gorovoy said he tried medication, but had no relief. At least not until Gregory Levitin, MD, Otolaryngologist/Head and Neck Surgery, Director, Vascular Birthmarks and Malformations at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai offered Gorovoy an in-office therapy called ClariFix.

"Basically, he said he would shrink down some of the tissues in the nasal passage and that would help open them up," Gorovoy said.

ClariFix uses cryotherapy to freeze nerves at the back of the nose that are out of balance. Once they are treated, the nerves no longer send the signal to drip or run. The procedure takes up to 20 minutes compared to a nearly four hour surgery.

"It takes about 15 minutes to make them numb, and literally less than a minute and we've made a big difference. It's only the small area here at the end that actually touches the patient in the back of the nose, and we apply that to the back of the nose where the nerve exits out," Levitin said.

Patients start to feel the results within a few days of treatment.

"Within 30 days, we're seeing a reduction of 50% or more in nearly every patient with less congestion, less runny nose, breathing better and sleeping better," Levitin said.

"Makes a huge difference being able to do your job more accurately; you know that's priceless," Gorovoy said.

And the best part, it is a one and done procedure.

"It's been a real game changer for a lot of patients," Levitin said.

Levitin said the treatment is meant for those who have sinus problems year-round. Side effects include a cold feeling to the head, often described as brain freeze, during the treatment, a headache 20 minutes after the procedure and a little extra congestion for the first week after.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; and Kirk Manson, Videographer.

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