Treatment option can help patients freeze their allergies away

NEW YORK (WABC) -- With the rain and warmer temperatures, comes the sniffing and sneezing of the dreaded allergy season.

If the usual pills and sprays aren't enough, there's another treatment option that could actually freeze your allergies away.

50-year-old Raquel Billings of the Bronx tried sprays and tablets to deal with her allergies without success.

"I was always snorting and not being comfortable," she said.

But last year Dr. Gregory Levitin of New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai Hospital essentially froze the problem with Clarifix.

"It's a device that uses cryotherapy," said Dr. Levitin. "And cryotherapy or freezing basically scars down the nerve that is sometimes hyperactive and by hyperactive it can make people feel extra congestion, extra mucus, extra post nasal drip."

It's geared for people with bad stuffiness or a never-ending runny nose that really impacts their life.

Freezing the nerves interrupts the signals that prompt the nose to run, drip or swell up.

When the pollen count is especially high, patients may still need a spray or tablet, but the symptoms will be far less than if they hadn't had Clarifix.

"50 to 80 percent of their excess mucus and excess congestion is resolved," said Dr. Levitin.

The procedure takes 20 minutes and patients will notice a change in two weeks. But the big improvements come in about a month.
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