ClariFix fixes chronic nasal congestion
NEW YORK – Nasal congestion can be treated with over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs or even surgery as a last resort.
But now, therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 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 has had a tough time breathing through his nose for years. It's especially hard on this 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 tried medication but had no relief.
Until Dr. Gregory Levitin, an otolaryngologist 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 feeling the results within a few days of treatment.
"Within 30 days, we're seeing a reduction of 50 percent or more in nearly every patient with less congestion, less runny nose breathing better and sleeping better," Levitin said.
"(It) 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.
He said the treatment is meant for those who have sinus problems year around.
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.
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