Tens of millions of Americans suffer from sinus pain and inflammation due to obstruction of the nasal cavity. This can cause chronic congestion, fatigue, and difficulty breathing. While it’s possible to temporarily alleviate some of these symptoms with medication, in the long term, the only proven solution is for a patient to undergo nasal surgery. That could be about to change, however.
A Sunnyvale, California-based startup called Aerin Medical has developed a noninvasive device to help solve this problem, which it can reportedly do with both minimal discomfort to the patient and, just as importantly, long-lasting results.
“This device helps to reshape the nasal valve region in order to improve airflow,” Ohio State University’s Dr. Brad Otto, leader of an ongoing clinical trial, told Digital Trends. “For many people, the nasal valve is a very important region in the perception of normal, good airflow. This solves the problem of nasal obstruction for those people whose nasal valve contributes to the obstruction.”
The Vivaer Nasal Airway Remodeling device works by applying radio frequency energy to cartilage in the patient’s nose. Before the procedure is performed, computed tomography (CT) scans are taken to reveal exactly how the airflow through the nasal cavity is being affected by the blockage. The wand-like nasal airway remodeling device then targets energy toward the affected areas. No anesthetic is needed, and there’s no sustained recovery period, as would be the case after invasive surgery.
“We have performed the procedure on nine patients,” Otto said. “We plan to perform the procedure on a total of 15 patients for the purposes of this study. We do not have any publishable results related to the study at this time. The trial is aimed at determining the effectiveness of the procedure in improving nasal obstruction, and is also aimed at examining the effects the procedure has on nasal airflow, as determined by computational fluid dynamics.”
If you want to be among those in the clinical trial, you can get in touch to put yourself forward as a test subject. With the promise of greatly improved breathing, there’s not a whole lot for you to lose — and that includes your nose cartilage.