NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Do you suffer with a chronic itchy, stuffy, runny nose that you just can’t get rid of, even with medications?

There may be relief for you with a new office procedure.

CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reports the procedure freezes some nerves in the nose that are part of the problem.

(Credit: CBS2)

A runny, stuffy, itchy nose that lasts for a year or more is called chronic rhinitis. It can be due to allergies, but it can also be non-allergic.

Either way, the new freezing technique can ease the symptoms.

Melody Stazzone had year-round allergies that were making her nose run and her life miserable.

“I wouldn’t even be here. I couldn’t even go by the parks. It was just too much. It was just a constant barrage of just being stuffed up with the sore throat and the nasal drip, not being able to breathe, massive headaches,” she said.

Stazzone tried nearly every over-the-counter and prescription allergy medication, without relief.

So Dr. Gregory Levitin at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary at Mount Sinai suggested a minimally invasive “cryotherapy” called Clarifix.

“I think this has been a real game-changer for a lot of patients,” he said.

(Credit: CBS2)

Levitin showed CBS2 the procedure on another patient right in his office. After some local anesthesia, the Clarifix probe is positioned over nerves in the nose that make the mucus membranes swell, drip and run. Freezing those nerves blocks the stuffy nose signals.

“Patients shouldn’t feel any pain, and it’s very effective in almost everyone we treat,” Levitin said.

Levitin says the treatment is ideal for allergy sufferers who experience year-round symptoms like Stazzone, but it’s also effective for treating non-allergic chronic rhinitis where the nose runs for unknown reasons.

“I have complete clarity now,” Stazzone said.

She was back to doing the things she loved just a few months after the treatment.

“I’m in the parks all the time, riding my bike, walking around,” Stazzone said.

She says she doesn’t even take daily medication anymore and finally feels like she has her life back.

To be clear, this is not a cure for allergies. It’s a treatment for some of the symptoms, such as a stuffy, runny nose.

If you have allergies, you’ll probably still have itchy, watery eyes, maybe mouth or throat itchiness, and even wheezing or coughing.

The procedure eases or stops the runny nose whether from allergies or some other cause.


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