The preventive effect of nasal filters for seasonal allergies

Published Online: June 30, 2015

Seasonal allergies affect millions of Americans each year. As part of an overall management strategy for seasonal allergies, allergen avoidance is recommended for all patients, although it has generally been considered difficult to achieve because of the ubiquitous nature of pollens. Recently, a study on a new impaction nasal filter (Rhinix, Rhinix ApS, Aarhus, Denmark) showed promising results as an effective and wearable device for the prevention of nasal and throat allergy symptoms. However, because that study was conducted out-of-season in the controlled environment of an allergy exposure chamber, it was essential to investigate the effect of the nasal filter in a regular pollen season and in natural settings.

In an original article recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), Kenney and colleagues conducted a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind study on 65 adults with grass pollen allergy over two days in the allergy season in 2014. On each study day participants stayed in a park from 9 AM until 5 PM to maximize their exposure to grass pollens. Participants did not use allergy medication on the study days. The researchers compared the preventive effect of the nasal filter with that of a filterless placebo device.

The authors found that the sum of all nasal symptoms was reduced by 40% when using the nasal filter compared with placebo. Sneezing, itching, and runny nose symptoms contributed to this difference with sneezing being reduced by 83%. Furthermore, the authors found that watery eyes were reduced by 75% when using the nasal filter compared with placebo. Finally, the authors found that use of nasal filters resulted in 54% less drowsiness when compared with the placebo. For all symptoms, the effects were even greater for the participants who began use of the nasal filters before symptom onset.

The nasal filters substantially reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies. The results support the preventive role of the nasal filters for managing seasonal allergies.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is the official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

Close-up of pine tree branches in Winter Close-up of pine tree branches in Winter