New nasal filter looks promising for allergy sufferers

A small filter the size of a contact lens could possibly 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.

A clinical study from Aarhus University concludes that a newly developed Danish mini-filter - Rhinix - appears to be significantly more effective against the discomfort of seasonal than a filterless placebo.

The study has just been published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Filter blocks pollen

The filter, which is not yet in production, works by being inserted in both nostrils. Depending on the filter's density, it blocks specific particles in the air - including pollen from grass, which is one of the most frequent causes of hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis).

"We will test Rhinix on a larger scale in collaboration with the Danish Patient Organisation Asthma-Allergy Denmark later in the year. But the preliminary tests in our allergy chamber show that the filter can both alleviate typical symptoms, and that you will not experience unacceptable discomfort when using it," says Professor Torben Sigsgaard from Aarhus University, one of the people behind the study together with the inventor of the filter, MD- PhD student Peter Sinkjær Kenney.

And even though the test subjects still had mild symptoms after the treatment, regardless of whether they were in the placebo- or active group, the researchers demonstrated what they describe as "clinically relevant reductions in daily nasal symptoms compared to placebo, in particular supported by reductions in sneezing, itching of the nose and symptoms."

Less discomfort in the throat

One of the crucial points has been to examine whether the test subjects ceased breathing through the nose when the filter was inserted and instead breathed through their mouth.

"This would probably aggravate their symptoms in the throat, because the air particles would be increased there instead," says Peter Sinkjær Kenney.

But he describes how the project showed that, on the contrary, the test subjects' throat irritation was significantly lowered when using the nasal filter, with an average reduction of 75 percent. At the same time, measurements showed that there was no difference in airflow between the filter and the Rhinix filter.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nip springtime allergies in the bud

Mar 17, 2013

(HealthDay)—The spring allergy season is off to an early start and allergy sufferers need to take action to prevent symptoms, an expert says.

Protect your kids from pollen allergies: expert

Apr 28, 2013

(HealthDay)—Many children suffer allergies at this time of year as trees and other plants start releasing pollens into the air. So parents need to monitor their youngsters for symptoms, an expert says.

Get ready for spring - hay fever worse in spring than summer

Dec 21, 2011

Hay fever (runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes) is caused by an allergy to pollen, and most commonly to grass pollen. These tiny grains bring misery to sufferers through spring and summer and pollen levels are often included ...

Recommended for you

Where Ebola battles are won

1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—Four hospitals that are home to advanced biocontainment facilities have become America's ground zero in the treatment of Ebola patients.

Depression tied to worse lumbar spine surgery outcomes

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Depressive symptoms are associated with poorer long-term outcome in patients undergoing surgery for lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), according to research published in the Oct. 1 issue of The Sp ...

Ebola death toll edging to 4,900 mark: WHO

4 hours ago

The death toll in the world's worst-ever Ebola outbreak has edged closer to 4,900, while almost 10,000 people have now been infected, new figures from the World Health Organization showed Wednesday.

US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations

4 hours ago

U.S. authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the U.S. from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. That includes returning American aid workers, federal health employees ...

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

wealthychef
not rated yet Mar 08, 2014
Very hard to know what "clinically significant" means. I am sure I would try these out, hope they work!