What is Chronic Rhinitis?
Many patients experience chronic congestion and a runny nose. This may be from allergies and should respond to allergy medicine or immunotherapy such as allergy drops or allergy shots. In some patients, these symptoms do not respond to allergy treatments and allergy testing is negative. These patients may have “vasomotor rhinitis”, a form of chronic rhinitis that is secondary to an overactive nerve in the nose. This nerve stimulates the lining of the nose to become congested, runny, and have post nasal drip.
Symptoms of Chronic Rhinitis
Symptoms of chronic rhinitis can include:
- Mouth breathing
- Sinus pressure
- Sinus infections
- Runny nose
- Post nasal drip
- Chronic cough
- Sore throat
These symptoms can be present whether it is an allergic or vasomotor chronic rhinitis.
The Clarifix® Procedure
Patients that have these typical symptoms of chronic rhinitis and have not responded to traditional allergy treatments have had minimal options for therapy until now. The only other form of therapy has been a nasal spray called Atrovent which can be effective for some patients. This spray has to be used multiple times per day and it can cause dryness of the nasal lining. Now Clarifix® offers an elegant alternative.
In this procedure, the Clarifix® balloon is placed inside the nose under endoscopic guidance in our office under IV sedation. This IV sedation provides the ultimate in patient comfort during the procedure. Dr. Slaughter then places the balloon on the nerve that causes the chronic rhinitis and it is rapidly cooled using nitrogen gas.
This procedure takes about 3 minutes and is painless. This rapid cooling of the nerve diminishes it’s activity and has been proven in clinical studies to reduce the symptoms of chronic rhinitis especially the congestion and runny nose. There is no pain during the procedure and patients are able to go home within 30 minutes of the procedure.
Does the Procedure Hurt?
It’s normal to have an “ice cream” headache for about 30 minutes or so after the procedure but most patients do not require any pain medication. Patients can work the next day.
How many Clarifix® treatments will I need?
Most patients will continue to improve for a year and do not need another treatment. If needed, repeat treatments can be performed safely.
Will I still need nasal medications following the procedure?
To help with temporary congestion, patients are instructed to use saline irrigation for three weeks after the procedure. The symptoms of chronic rhinitis may not be completely resolved after the procedure and some patients may still require additional medical therapy or repeat Clarifix® treatments.