Danish researchers have developed a new "nasal filter" — a device that they liken to a contact lens for the nostrils — that can help combat allergies and hay fever.
Clinical research from Aarhus University, Denmark, suggests the device — known as Rhinix — could make life easier for some of the estimated 500 million people worldwide who suffer from itching, sneezing, and runny nose when the pollen season starts.
The mini filter, detailed in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, is inserted into both nostrils, where it blocks particles in the air, including pollen from grass, a common cause of hay fever.
"We will test Rhinix on a larger scale in collaboration with the Danish Patient Organization Asthma-Allergy Denmark later in the year," said Torben Sigsgaard, an Aarhus University professor who worked with the inventor of the filter, Peter Sinkjær Kenney, to study its effectiveness.
"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."
Although volunteers who tested the device still had mild symptoms while using it, 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 runny nose symptoms."
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