Mini nasal filter reduces hay fever symptoms

The nasal filter is placed in both nostrils to prevent inhalation of allergens such as grass pollen.
The nasal filter is placed in both nostrils to prevent inhalation of allergens such as grass pollen.

A novel nasal filter about the size of a pair of contact lenses designed to prevent inhalation of allergens significantly relieved hay fever symptoms, according to researchers.

When nasal filter use was initiated before symptom onset, sneezing and watery eyes were reduced 100% and runny nose 84% in a 24-hour period compared with use of a placebo device, indicate findings from a Danish study involving 65 people with grass pollen allergies who were not receiving any other medical treatments.

This reduction in symptoms is greater than those observed in similar studies involving different medical treatments for allergies, the researchers noted.

"Moreover, the subjects with nasal filters did not feel worse, even though the pollen levels on day two were markedly higher than those on day one. This suggests that the nasal filters will become increasingly beneficial as pollen levels increase," said study researcher Peter Sinkjaer Kenney, an MD-PhD student at Aarhus University in Denmark.

The filter also reduced drowsiness, a well-known side effect of antihistamines typically used to treat allergies, by more than 50% compared with placebo.

"For some allergy sufferers, this could turn out to be the most important benefit of the filter," said study researcher Torben Sigsgaard, MD, a professor at the university.

A large open-label observational study involving more than 1,000 participants is currently underway to assess the device's usability.

Reference

  1. Kenney P. #PDS 18. "Usability of nasal filters in managing seasonal allergic rhinitis: an observational, open-label in-season study."
  2. Sigsgaard T. #SYM 3. "New onset allergic sensitisation in adults."

Both presented at: EAACI 2015. June 6-10; Barcelona, Spain.

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