I just read with interest about the results of a new study coming out in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. The lead investigator is the president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), Thomas B. Casale, M.D.
The study, done at Creighton University, looked at the effects of noninhaled, intranasal carbon dioxide (CO2 for short) for seasonal allergic rhinitis, which is just a fancy way of saying nasal allergies.
Patients in the study who received CO2 reported a significant and rapid improvement in congestion, sneezing and other nasal symptoms. Here are some other stats about the study:
- 89 subjects, ages 18 to 75 years, who had at least a 2-year history of seasonal allergies requiring medicine
- 60 received CO2 and 29 received plain air
- Within 30 minutes of taking the CO2, half of the patients who took it reported at least a 50% improvement in their symptoms
- Slightly more than 26% of the patients on plain air reported an improvement
The CO2 is a gas that is allowed to flow through each nostril while you breathe through your mouth to avoid forced inhalation. Two doses 5 minutes apart were given.
In the study, not only did nasal symptoms improve rapidly (within 10 minutes) and stay away for 24 hours, some lessening of itchy, watery eyes was noted as well.
No significant side effects have been noted with the treatment, although there can be some burning or stinging in the nostrils initially during treatment. So, this treatment approach can probably be used safely long-term.
Obviously, larger studies will be needed to validate the findings of this very small study, but I'm fascinated by the possibilities!
Published On: October 30, 2007