If you are tired of all the tissues and fed up with finding relief from your nasal symptoms in the pharmacy aisle, cryotherapy treatment may be your solution for lasting relief.
What is rhinitis?
Rhinitis is the frequent inflammation of the nose that causes symptoms, such as a stuffy or runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and postnasal drip.
While the exact cause of rhinitis is unknown, experts do know that out-of-balance nasal nerves play a factor. When nasal nerves become hyperactive or out of balance, they send more signals than necessary for the nose to perform its normal jobs. This causes your nose to respond like it is fighting an illness, becoming inflamed and increasing mucus production.
When left untreated, rhinitis can be disruptive and annoying. It also increase your chances of developing inflammation or an infection of your sinuses.
Cryotherapy for rhinitis
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is an innovative, minimally invasive treatment for rhinitis. Cryotherapy uses an endoscope and cryotherapy device to freeze nerves in your nasal passages. When the cold temperature hits the nerves, the nerve signals are interrupted and no longer tell the nose to swell, drip and run. The interruption of the nerve signals provides long-lasting relief from runny or stuffy nasal symptoms. Cryotherapy can provide patients with symptom relief for up to a year or longer.
What to expect during cryotherapy
Know before you go
Prior to treatment, you should discuss any current medications you are taking and your medical history with your physician. Plan for a one-hour appointment, and ask your physician if you will need someone to drive you home.
During the treatment
The cryotherapy treatment typically is performed right in your doctor's office with only a local or topical anesthetic. The cryotherapy device and an endoscope are placed into the back of your nose, where the out-of-balance nerves are located. The cold therapy is applied using a cooling probe and takes about five minutes. You may feel slight pressure, a cooling sensation and some discomfort.
In general, there is minimal downtime and recovery. You may experience temporary increased congestion. Some discomfort is also possible but will typically resolve quickly. Most patients are able to resume normal activities same day and begin to see improvement between two and six weeks after treatment.
Cryotherapy is safe
The most common side effects associated with cryotherapy are temporary increased congestion and discomfort. In a clinical study, the treatment was found to be well-tolerated with no device or procedure-related serious adverse events. Cryotherapy does not sever or disassemble connective tissues, such as collagen fibers. All structures of the nasal passages are maintained reducing risks and complications.