Clinical trials involve using human volunteers for prospective behavioral and biomedical studies. As medical service providers, labs, research institutes, and medical experts need to follow strict procedures and rules to ensure the safety of human volunteers.
Regardless of whether you are carrying out the trial to test a new drug or try the effects of a new treatment variation, it's essential to be fully aware of what precautions and systems you should follow at each phase of the trial. Here is all you need to know about the four stages of clinical trials.
Phase 0 Clinical TrialsPhase 0 clinical trials essentially study the impact of small doses of the drug on a few people. It's critical to involve only a minimal number of human volunteers during phase 0 of the clinical trial. Since it's more of an exploration stage, this stage consists of experimenting. Minor doses of the potential medicine are tested out on the volunteers to verify its efficacy and reach.
Unlike the other trial phases, Phase 0 does not involve therapeutic practices. The intention is to verify that the drug or treatment isn't harmful. There is also no intention to assess drug safety and drug tolerance in this phase. Usually, less than 20 volunteers are involved in this phase.
Phase 1 Clinical TrialsPhase 1 trials are usually conducted with healthy volunteers and involve fewer than 100 people. The primary purpose is to test the safety of the drug. Volunteers are monitored closely, and researchers determine how much of the drug it takes to produce side effects. Phase 1 trials typically last for a few months but can take as long as two years.
Phase 2 Clinical TrialsIn this phase, the drug is tested for safety and effectiveness in a larger group of people (100 to 300). It also includes studies that compare the safety and efficacy of a new drug with similar drugs already available in use. This phase can last from several months to two years or longer. Phase 2 studies are usually only done if the clinical trial results from Phase 1 are encouraging.
Phase 3 Clinical TrialsPhase 3 is the last phase of a clinical study before the FDA reviews the drug's NDA (New Drug Application), and it answers two main questions:
The focus is on safety and side effects. This information is used to ensure that participants are not exposed to unreasonable risks. Phase 3 studies can also give researchers a better idea about how well the drug works over time or in specific subgroups of people such as children or pregnant women.
Clinical trials are supervised experiments that test new treatments for diseases. You can use them to compare patients who receive the new treatment to a similar group of patients who are given the standard treatment. This determines if the new treatment is safer or more effective than the current method of treating a specific condition.
At Snot Force Alliance Inc, we aim to bring specialists together to treat nose, sinus, and airway-related conditions. We offer various collaborative opportunities for medical experts, clinics, and researchers. If you would like to learn more about clinical trials, contact us.
The rise of the internet has made it extremely easy for patients to look up the latest breakthroughs in the field of medicine. Naturally, they expect their physicians to also be innovative and up to date in their practice. Whether they’re looking for a new treatment option for nasal polyps or for alternatives to surgery, patients prefer ENT specialists and allergists who can provide them with cutting-edge solutions.
In this highly competitive environment, participating in research offers you the opportunity to address your patients’ concerns and build your reputation as a leading innovator in the field. In this blog, we’ve outlined the benefits of incorporating clinical research into your practice and compiled a list of tips and know-how to help you successfully take the next step.
Benefits of Integrating Research Into Your Practice
Participating in clinical research involves establishing connections with local and national ENT specialists. Through these research networks, you will have access to the knowledge, experience, and research of specialists, both at the local and national levels.
In addition, while talking to these professionals, you may possibly discover new insights and treatment methods you hadn’t thought of before—all of which can inform and enhance your research and practice. Connecting with specialists will also keep you up to date on the latest findings and technologies in the field and help you provide your patients with the best possible care.
Your commitment to the advancement of the field will only increase your reputation and credibility as an ENT specialist—two important criteria patients look at while choosing a medical physician. They are more confident in your ability to help them as you are in touch with the recent practices and treatments.
Team building is an integral part of any practice’s success. The addition of a clinical research program to your practice builds morale as your staff feels like they are contributing to real medical progress.
How to Successfully Integrating Research Into Your Practice
You need to spread the word about your research program to colleagues and even your competition. Make sure to prepare short, succinct, honest presentations about why you believe your research is relevant to and can improve existing treatments. Be clear about any limitations that exist and make time for questions.
Networking with colleagues will also provide you with opportunities to recruit subjects. This will place you on the fast track to beginning the training for the new technologies once they’re approved.
You also need to encourage your staff to talk to your patients about these studies, carefully put up posters in spaces people can see, and update your website with the latest information, so patients find answers to any questions they have.
Identify staff members who share your passion for the project and educate them on its importance for both the patients and the practice. Set aside a real space for a research coordinator and a quiet area for staff members to counsel patients. Additionally, you will need a place that is easily accessible for staff and clinical monitors to store patient information.
If you’re looking to integrate a research program into your practice, get in touch with us at Snot Force Alliance Inc.—we provide ENT specialists with valuable resources and various opportunities to corroborate with physicians across the country.
The world of medicine is constantly marching forward. New scientific breakthroughs and technologies offer new possibilities for medical professionals the world over. The only way to keep up with the latest innovations in medical science is to continue your medical education. That is precisely why medical colleges have created the Continuing Medical Education credit system. CME credits are awarded to medical professionals that engage in training or further education after becoming licensed.
There are a lot of practical and personal reasons to pursue CME. Fortunately, they're not as rigorous as your medical school studies, and they can often be obtained for free! Online courses, independent course study, conferences, seminars, and product expos can all qualify for CME credits when sponsored by a recognized authority. Ultimately, your patients benefit from your expanded knowledge, but there are plenty of incentives for you too. Let's take a look at a few.
8 Benefits of Earning CME Credits
1. Keep Your Medical License
Let's start with the most obvious benefit: You get to continue working as a medical professional. If that doesn't motivate you, what else will? States have unique requirements for how many CME credits a medical professional has to accrue in a given time period. Washington state stipulates that 200 credits are required, but they grant that over the period of four years. The 50 credit per year standard is applied in many states, although others are more lenient.
For example, Nebraska calls for 25 credits a year, while Alabama asks for a meager 12. You don't need to get your credits in the same state where you practice, provided the credits come from recognized authorities like the AMA or AMBS. Some states mandate specific topics or knowledge areas, for instance Florida requires that some of your credits be related to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Regardless of where you practice, CME keeps you in business.
2. Build More Professional Relationships
CME puts you in contact with other professionals in the same field, which means CME makes for great networking opportunities. When you join a conference to learn more about a new treatment, you're going to have the opportunity to meet other practitioners and expand your contacts. That can be beneficial later if you choose to seek work in another facility or even another state. Given the interstate nature of most CME meetings, you're sure to meet people across state lines.
As many CME trainings and meetings are conducted by representatives of medical product manufacturers, you can also establish relationships with these companies to stay abreast of the latest developments. Pharmaceutical industry reps and manufacturers of machines alike aim to build lasting relationships with practitioners for your mutual benefit. You may even meet professionals from other countries to further expand your network.
3. They're Flexible!
Unlike med school, CME credit can be earned in a number of ways, and in fact the majority of these credits are awarded outside of classroom settings. That means you don't need to stop whatever you're doing to dedicate a week or month to rack up credit for the year. While there are in-person courses you can attend to accumulate credit, you can also opt for self-guided study programs. You simply log in and advance at your own pace.
Even meetings are more flexible now. Thanks to the widespread adoption of virtual conferencing, more meetings are available without the hassle of booking flights and hotels. You can accumulate credit faster from the comfort of your home. CME credit has never been easier to obtain, and the quality of the instruction you'll receive hasn't declined.
4. Learn About New Products
One of the biggest benefits of CME training and meetings is that you'll learn more about the latest products on the market. Even ones that haven't yet been approved by the FDA are worth your consideration. Knowing what's about to launch and what it can do will help you prepare your private practice for adoption. Whether it's a new medicine that can treat a stubborn condition or an innovative tool, keeping up with new products helps your practice stay relevant.
Learning about medicine and devices will also prepare you for future sessions. Perhaps you pursue training with a new treatment so that you can be one of the first to implement it. Plus, patients are always excited to see the latest technology. It inspires confidence and shows that you are staying up to date. They're more likely to trust the quality of care provided by your institution or practice when they see that you use new products in your work.
5. Improve as a Professional
An analysis of 28 unique studies performed by Johns Hopkins revealed that 79% of specialists who fulfilled their CME credit obligations demonstrated an improvement in their medical knowledge. There were positive findings with regard to clinical outcomes, as well. Patients were less likely to be sent to emergency care and had reduced complications after operations and other treatments. CME also was shown to improve recertification exam results.
In short, CME has been proven to help professionals develop and become even better. That's why it's a requirement in most countries and has continued to be promoted by medical boards.
6. Earn More
Practitioners who fulfill their CME credit requirements can often qualify for raises at their places of employment. As a private practice, you can also point to your CME as a justification for the quality of the service you provide. By becoming more employable and more attractive to patients, you can secure higher earnings going forward. Continued education is strongly correlated with earnings for doctors and other medical professionals.
When you consider that you can obtain a significant amount of your CME credits for free, CME becomes a smart investment. You exchange some of your time and very little money to receive much larger rewards.
7. Increase Job Stability
Obviously, your job stability would be adversely affected by losing your medical license, which is what can happen if you don't fulfill your CME requirements. However, hospitals and private practices alike may also impose additional requirements for CME that can affect your employment. A commitment to CME improves your stability. A doctor that rushes to meet their obligations by cramming dozens of hours into the end of the year is quietly indicating that CME isn't a priority.
8. Give Your Patients Confidence
Above all, there's one benefit that stands out most from CME: The good it does for your patients. Not only are you able to provide better medical attention and improve their clinical outcomes, but you inspire far more confidence as a professional. Even just commenting on a recent seminar or highlighting the benefits of a new medication speaks volumes to your commitment to helping your patients. They take note of these little things. Your continued education puts them at ease.
That's the reason that drives us to promote CME meetings for medical professionals across the country. We strive for better care for patients and recognize that CME plays an important role in ensuring that. Our meetings are approved for AMA PRA credit, which is one of the most widely recognized certifications for CME credits in the country. To register for our next CME meeting, visit the Snot Force website and sign up today.
Have you suffered through or know someone who is suffering from the Alpha-Gal Syndrome? Do you need to understand its symptoms and how you can treat them? In this blog, we will decode everything you need to know about the Alpha-Gal Syndrome.
Multidisciplinary Snot Force Alliance Webcast with Allergist Dr. Lee Clore
The recent Snot Force Assemble! CME webcast explored Alpha-Gal Syndrome (AGS) with Dr. Lee S. Clore, Jr of Allergy and Asthma Specialists, PSC in Owensboro, KY. Multiple specialties, including allergists, otolaryngologists, and pulmonologists, were on hand to discuss with interesting condition.
What is the Alpha-Gal Syndrome (AGS)?
Alpha-Gal Syndrome (AGS), or alpha-gal allergy as it is commonly known, is a mammal meat allergy or a tick bite meat allergy. Alpha-gal reactions can become serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions. Alpha-Gal Syndrome was first recognized in the U.S. but is becoming more common in other regions.
It occurs when people eat mammal meat or are exposed to products that contain alpha-gal, which is a sugar molecule found in most mammals. Alpha-gal occurs after the bite of a lone star or black-legged tick. However, additional research is required to understand the role of ticks in triggering AGS in some people.
Typical Symptoms of AGS:
The common symptoms of AGS include:
The symptoms of Alpha-Gal Syndrome typically occur anywhere between 2-8 hours of eating mammal meat products. The reactions differ from person to person, with some people experiencing mild symptoms and others experiencing more serious symptoms. Some people might experience Anaphylaxis which can be fatal if not treated in time. To prevent the condition from becoming more serious, immediate care should be given if anyone is showing symptoms.
It is always advisable to seek medical attention if you're having a severe allergic reaction. To understand if you have AGS or not, your allergist may ask for detailed patient history, do a thorough physical examination, and even do a blood test to look for specific AGS anti-bodies in your blood. Furthermore, they may recommend an allergy skin test. It should be noted that AGS does not cause any infection.
How to treat AGS?
Here are some useful tips on how to prevent and treat AGS:
If you're looking to interact with different specialists who treat sinus, allergy, and airway conditions, join Snot Force Alliance Inc. Our meetings and research are helping medical professionals treat patients betters.
ENTs and allergists are very specialized, and it can be hard to find others like you locally. For this reason, many professionals decide to join statewide or national organizations to interact with people in their field. Conferences and other events designed to allow you to collaborate can help improve your clinical skills and further your career at a faster pace. Here at Snot Force, we've decided to create such a network, but slightly differently.
In addition to providing you with valuable contacts, interesting opportunities for continued professional education, and the opportunity to collaborate in research with other specialists, we aim to make our events as entertaining as possible. You'll be exposed to new ideas and locations, all the while learning more about your profession. In such an environment, you can't help but thrive and make valuable connections.
What Are Medical Discussion Groups?
Working as an allergist and ENT can be difficult, particularly if you have your own practice and don't often collaborate with other professionals. But it doesn't have to be that way. Here at Snot Force, we aim to connect doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers who specialize in sinus and airway issues, so that they can improve their practice and get to know others in the same profession.
Once you join, one of the primary ways you'll meet others is through our group meetups. Since our network already includes over 400 people from 37 different states, we can hold these regularly and in a wide variety of locations. Usually, the groups will focus on one specific topic or area of interest, although we will sometimes hold more general and informal meetings where you can network and speak about what currently concerns you.
How Can Being Part of an Organization Benefit You?
Now you know what happens at one of our groups, you might wonder why you should join and how this could benefit you and your practice. There are a number of reasons why joining forces with other professionals is a good idea, and undoubtedly you will already be part of other medical organizations. But Snot Force is different because we not only allow you to learn and get your CME credits, but we also aim to make the process fun.
Collaborate with Other Specialists
The primary reason why most people decide to sign up is that they would like to meet others in their field. Specializing in nose and sinus issues is a very niche endeavor, so you're unlikely to have a large number of colleagues in your local area. In fact, you may be the only person working on this problem in your town or your hospital, depending on the size and population density of your area.
That's why connecting with a local and national network of other nose specialists is so crucial. You will gain access to all their knowledge, insights, and experience, and you will also be able to share stories of your practice. Others working with noses will understand you in the way that your family, friends, and general doctors won't. What's more, you never know what professional opportunities you'll find out about through members of our community.
Learn About New Treatments
How we treat sinuses has changed dramatically in the past years, and the methods used aren't the same in all parts of the country. By finding out how other professionals in your field handle complex or unique cases, you can improve your own practice. At our Snot Force meetups, you won't only encounter doctors, but also other healthcare workers, people selling medical equipment, and researchers.
While talking to these professionals with various insights and backgrounds, you might find out about new methods you hadn't considered yet. What's more, you could gain access to products and medicines that are at the cutting edge and not yet being used by most doctors. In that way, you can further improve your reputation as a leader and innovator in your field.
Work Together in Research
Have you ever encountered an issue you couldn't solve, or do you have burning medical questions that are not yet answered? A number of researchers are a part of the Snot Force family, so you'll get to speak to people working on the most pressing issues. Depending on your personal experience, you may even be able to join them and work on a new treatment or discovery. The more people collaborate, the more quickly medicine will progress.
Get CME Credits
Every year, medical professionals need to do some continued education in order to stay relevant in their industry. Medicine advances quickly, and the ways nose and sinuses issues are treated change over time. For this reason, getting your Continuing Medical Education credits is key.
Fortunately, our Meeting Series is accredited and will count towards this requirement. We have developed this program in collaboration with Indiana University School of Medicine to provide you and your colleagues with an engaging educational resource that aims to improve the service you provide. To find out more and how you can get your credits, you can get in touch with us or fill out the CME registration form on our website.
Have Fun While Improving Yourself
There are many different discussion groups and professional organizations a nose doctor could join, but most of them are serious and focused solely on the work. We've decided to create something different because we believe that a community is stronger when all members enjoy being part of it and support the vision. Just because you work with snot on a daily basis doesn't mean that you can't have fun while learning more.
Many of our events, such as the KY Bourbon and Roses Sinus, Allergy, and Airway Symposium coming up this October, center around an engaging activity as well as the educational aspect. If you decide to attend the aforementioned symposium, you will get to explore bourbon distilleries in Kentucky and taste their products. At the same time, you'll learn about precision medicine in airway disease and meet other otolaryngologists, allergists, and pulmonologists.
How Can You Join the Snot Force?
Are you convinced yet? If so, there's an easy way to join online. Simply click on the "Join" link at the top of our webpage, which will take you to a short survey about your medical background and interest in sinus issues. At that time, you can also let us know what you hope to get out of the group, such as CMEs, collaboration, social media engagement, and promoting your business.
Once you've submitted this form, you can then expect us to get back to you as soon as possible with more information. If you have any additional questions in the meantime, you can read up about our events, our founders, and what to expect from us on the website.
As a nose and sinus doctor, you might not have many local specialists to collaborate with, so joining discussion groups is key. They can allow you to exchange ideas, collaborate, take part in innovative research programs, and get your CME credits. Get in touch with us now at Snot Force Alliance to sign up to one of our events or learn more about what we do. We'll be happy to connect you to hundreds of others working with sinuses, allergies, and airways.
Are you a healthcare provider looking to break free of your silo and meet new providers with similar interests? Or perhaps you want to explore different ways patient outcomes can be improved? Last but not least, do you need free CME credits but don't want to attend another boring class that doesn't engage your mind? The Snot Force Alliance, Inc., is your answer to all three of these concerns.
Get Free CME at Snot Force Alliance
First of all, we better explain our mission here at Snot Force. We recognize gaps in the diagnoses and therapies for nose, sinus, and airway conditions that keep patients from reaching their ideal quality of life. Although these gaps cannot be addressed by a single specialist, many of us collaborating as one can help overcome them. That's what we are: a group of specialists who bring other physicians together to:
Our Snot Force Alliance meeting series gives physicians the chance to enjoy camaraderie and earn free CME credits. The meetings we offer are planned and implemented in conjunction with Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM). IUSM is accredited by the following councils to provide continuing education for healthcare providers:
How It Works
Each meeting is approved for AMA PRA Category 1 credits. Earning these credits is easy. Simply complete the CME Registration Form on our website and then complete the CME Check-In Form within 48 hours of each meeting you attend. We post information about our meetings online, and early registration is recommended.
The Importance of CME Credits
You likely already know CME credits are crucial for all healthcare providers, but as a refresher, we'd like to remind you why here. First and foremost, continuing your education allows you to discover new ways to improve upon patient care and effectively manage your career in a field that is ever-changing. Medicine does not stand still, and regardless of your scope of practice, CME can help you:
Refine Your Skills for Improved Patient Care
Every day, a new medical study is published or a new care technology is developed. These findings influence how patients with nose, sinus, and airway conditions should be assessed and treated. As a result, medical providers have a responsibility to their practice to stay on top of these changes. Doing so can provide patients with the most innovative care possible and stamp you as an expert in your field.
Advance Your Career
If you're looking to advance your career, free CME credits can help you do just that. Staying abreast of changes in healthcare builds your professional value, helps you further contribute to team goals, and demonstrates a proactive personality. Employers take note of these traits. You are likely to become a more integral staff member as facilities look to advance their reputations in a highly competitive landscape.
Meet Licensing/Certification Requirements
Many professional medical and healthcare organizations require members to continue their medical education as a condition of maintaining their membership status. These organizations typically ask members to submit proof of the CME events they've attended, which you can easily do after taking part in our meetings. This keeps you in good standing even as you network with providers from 37 different states.
Why Providers Need to Collaborate
Healthcare providers once functioned autonomously within the medical practice landscape. Each discipline went to school for their chosen specialty and remained immersed in a solitary perspective. But when providers can identify as part of a larger team, rather than practicing in a silo, healthcare significantly improves.
That is why medicine today embraces a more interprofessional approach. Physicians are expected to participate within multidisciplinary teams as patients present increasingly complex cases. And with a wide network of colleagues to call upon, you can efficiently find answers to difficult questions.
Enjoy New Ways to Network
Expanding your professional network is therefore an essential component of patient care. When you refocus your work and look through a lens of interprofessionalism, you can help reduce inefficiencies that often plague patient care. Assessments and treatments are done together so they become complementary rather than contradictive. Likewise, providers see a patient as a whole rather than a disjointed diagnosis or treatment relative to one ailment.
At Snot Force Alliance, we create enjoyable events that allow you to learn from and interact with other providers - without the pressures of a clinical environment. Our KY Bourbon + Roses symposium, for instance, lasts three days and includes a tour of Kentucky's bourbon distilleries in addition to discussions of precision medicine in airway disease. This is a collaborative effort between Cedars Sinai, Indiana University, and the University of Louisville.
Ignite Conversations and Hone Listening Skills
When you meet and network with other providers, you're able to share differences of opinion and learn new perspectives. Our meetings bring people together to explore ideas. This cannot be done in isolation.
Similarly, healthcare providers are at their most effective when they cultivate superior listening skills. Active listening conveys to patients and team members that what they're saying is important. This establishes a firm foundation of trust and builds teams that can address the multiple dimensions of a patient's condition.
Improve Creative Thinking
Networking events and CME meetings encourage providers to brainstorm with each other in ways that can lead to improved problem resolution. During these meetings, no issue is too big or too small to be discussed. As discussions continue to progress, providers often find themselves thinking with a new energy that can be brought back to the clinic or facility - and passed to other team members.
The Need to Address Healthcare Gaps
In respiratory medicine, as with other disciplines, gaps between established scientific evidence and actual care contribute to patient suffering. To illustrate, nearly 26 million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma, marking it as one of the country's most common and costly diseases. But around 74% of these patients are poorly controlled, leading to:
Evidence suggests that failure to assess asthma control is a significant contributor to the concerns listed above. This problem is compounded by patients with low expectations who fail to alert physicians when they don't feel well. Of course, this is only one of many major diseases that can affect the airways and sinuses. We haven't even touched upon COPD, chronic sinusitis, and more.
Routine Healthcare Concerns
The whole of healthcare experiences a number of gaps defined as discrepancies between recommended best practices and the care that is actually delivered. These gaps can manifest in different ways, with the most common including:
We mentioned earlier that just one of us cannot do much to overcome these gaps. But when we come together and brainstorm new ideas, implement new practices, and promote advanced research findings, we can help to ensure that all patients receive the care appropriate to their needs.
The Snot Force Alliance is a group of people who believe healthcare has made great strides but can still be improved in wonderful ways. We promote fun and friendly camaraderie and also offer CME events that educate and enlighten. To learn more, contact the Snot Force team today.
Snot Force Alliance hosted a webcast on postnasal drips last month: the Snot Force Assemble! Webcast Series: Thinking Beyond (or Below) Post-Nasal Drip: Laryngeal Contributions was an exciting, collaborative, case-based event hosted with guest panelists Benjamin Anthony, MD, Stacey Halum, MD, and Noah Parker, MD.
Be sure to follow our website and sign up to join us for any future webcasts here.
Your nasal and throat glands normally secrete mucus, which is swallowed without you noticing. However, when mucus thickens or builds up, it can cause postnasal drip and other unpleasant symptoms. This article explains the causes of postnasal drip and how to identify if you might have it.
Postnasal Drip: What Is It?
The mucus produced by your nasal membranes helps fight infection, filter foreign particles, and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs. There is about a quart or two of mucus produced each day by your nasal and throat glands, and it usually drains away all on its own. It drips down the back of your nose into your throat, mixes with saliva, and is swallowed without you even noticing.
A postnasal drip, however, can cause mucus to build up or thicken more than usual, resulting in an irritating feeling of mucus dripping down your throat.
Postnasal Drip: What Causes It?
Postnasal drip can be caused by:
Colds and flu, allergies, cold temperatures, bright lights, certain foods and spices, pregnancy, and hormonal changes may result in thin, clear secretions.
Several drugs such as birth control pills and high blood pressure medications and irregular nose cartilage can also lead to increased mucus production.
The thick secretions during winter are often due to dryness in heated environments. They can also be caused by sinus or nose infections, as well as allergies, particularly to dairy products. In the case of thick, green or yellow secretions, it is possible that a bacterial sinus infection is developing.
There are a number of conditions that may feel like postnasal drip but are actually swallowing problems caused by a backup of solids or liquids in the throat. These conditions include:
Diagnosis of Postnasal Drip
Examining the Body
Your physician will first check the back of your throat for any redness or swelling. They will inquire about other symptoms you might have (such as headaches, fever, chills, and muscle aches) that may indicate an infection. If you have a fever, your postnasal drip is probably caused by an infection.
Phlegm tinged with blood may indicate a gastrointestinal or pulmonary infection, which will require further evaluation.
Testing for Allergies
If your postnasal drip symptoms recur every few days or weeks and clear up between episodes, it could be due to an allergic reaction or sensitivity.
Your physician may advise you to keep a log of your symptoms, noting what you ate and what you were exposed to (such as pollen or pets). Allergy testing may help determine what the cause is.
A frequent or constant postnasal drip may indicate an anatomical cause, such as a sinusitis. You will need a physical examination and imaging tests to check for any variations that may be contributing to the symptoms.
If Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is suspected, interventional tests may be required. GERD may be diagnosed by tests such as direct laryngoscopy (examining the upper throat with a scope), 24-hour pH probe (testing for acid reflux), or esophagogastroduodenoscopy (examining the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine).
In the case of persistent postnasal drip, you should consult your healthcare provider. Snot Force Alliance performs research and brings specialists like ENTs, allergists, pulmonologists, and neurologists together for meetings to figure out how to treat patients. Registration is currently available via www.snotforce.org/meeting-series. Join the alliance today to learn more.
Nasal Polyps are non-cancerous growths that form inside the nose that can happen to anyone at any age. They can cause a lot of discomfort and pressure in the face, especially when they block your airway. If you are so afflicted, we want to help you find the best nasal polyps treatment so you don't need to suffer anymore. Fortunately, there are 14 different ways to help treat nasal polyps.
14 Most Common Options for Nasal Polyps Treatment
1. Managing Allergies and Asthma
Although the causes of nasal polyps are not well known, if you have allergies, asthma, or both, the mucus and inflammation that result from these conditions can lead to blockages in your sinuses and nasal passages. Seeing an allergist to talk about the best steps for treatment could be very beneficial.
2. Avoiding Nasal Irritants
Certain allergens and irritants may contribute to the growth of nasal polyps. To prevent this, try your best to avoid breathing in any airborne substances that could make your condition worse. These include chemical fumes, dust, cigarette smoke, smog, and strong smells (like cologne).
3. Avoiding Infections by Washing Hands
Frequently Washing your hands frequently reduces the chance of bacterial or viral infections that can cause inflammation in your nose, sinuses, and nasal passages.
Make sure you are always washing your hands before you touch your face, blow your nose, and after you use the washroom.
4. Keeping Proper Humidification
If the air in your home or work area is too dry, your nose and sinuses won't move mucus well, leading to congestion and inflammation that could instigate the development of polyps. Using a humidifier may help moisten your nasal passages, improve mucus flow from your sinuses, and prevent blockages. If a central humidifier is not an option, there are portable units that you can easily move around to whatever room you're in.
However, it's crucial to clean the humidifier on a regular basis to prevent bacteria from growing. Also, be careful not to over-humidify the air; too much moisture can cause the growth of mold and fungi in your home, which could irritate your sinuses or make you sick. A good rule of thumb is to keep the indoor humidity levels at no more than 50%.
5. Saline Sprays or Nasal Rinses
Rinse your nasal passages with a saline spray or nasal wash to loosen mucus. This can help improve mucus flow and remove allergenic particles. Also, use saline to rinse off your nasal septum, which can help prevent crusting.
7. Nasal Corticosteroids
Many people with nasal polyps are likely to be prescribed a nasal spray to reduce inflammation. This therapy can help shrink the polyps or even get rid of them entirely. In order to work locally, the particles need to reach the surface of the polyps. Nasal corticosteroids sprays such as mometasone (Nasonex) are approved for nasal polyps in the front of the nasal cavity. Corticosteroid rinses, often using budesonide, reach the nasal cavities as well as some of the sinus cavities in patients who have had sinus surgery. Corticosteroid administered with an exhalation delivery device, such as Xhance, has also shown effectiveness in reaching the upper sinuses where nasal polyps tend to arise.
8. Oral Corticosteroids
Oral corticosteroids - like prednisone - may be used if a nasal corticosteroid doesn't do the job. Prednisone can be used by itself or together with a nasal spray to temporarily reduce nasal polyps. Keep in mind that peak corticosteroids can have systemic side effects.
9. Dupilumab (Dupixent), Mepolizumab (Nucala), and Omalizumab (Xolair).
Another option is a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies, including dupilumab (Dupixent), Mepolizumab (Nucala), and Omalizumab (Xolair), which are injections that help control severe nasal polyps as an add-on therapy. Studies show that this treatment can reduce nasal congestion, impressive sense of smell, decrease a patient's need for future surgery. They also treat other inflammatory conditions, including asthma and atopic dermatitis.
10. Aspirin Desensitization
If you have AERD (Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease) with recurring nasal polyps, your doctor may prescribe a strategy called aspirin desensitization to help reduce inflammation and swelling. This treatment entails a series of diluted doses of aspirin until you reach a corrective level. This therapy can significantly reduce inflammation and help shrink polyps over time.
Large nasal polyps, especially when significant chronic sinusitis is present, may need to be surgically removed. You are usually put under general anesthesia at a hospital or outpatient surgery center for this procedure. The doctor uses an endoscope to get a view of the inside of your nasal passages and uses special equipment to remove the polyps without needing to make an incision on your face.
The removal is sometimes performed in conjunction with other surgeries that help treat issues that cause polyps. For example, Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is a procedure that increases your sinuses' drainage pathways to prevent mucus build-up that could cause polyps in the future. Chronic sinusitis can also be treated with a procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty, in which a small balloon catheter is placed inside your sinus passageway. The balloon is dilated to widen the nasal passage and then gently removed.
12. Allergen Immunotherapy
Another treatment used in patients with nasal polyps is immunotherapy. This therapy makes the body less likely to produce substances that can lead to inflammation in your nose, sinuses, and nasal passages. Immunotherapy can be administered sublingually or as a subcutaneous allergy shot.
13. Dietary Changes
Certain foods and beverages may trigger inflammation, allergies, or asthma symptoms in some people. Salicylates are thought to contribute to aspirin exacerbated respirator disease and contribute to nasal polyps growth. Avoiding them may help alleviate the symptoms.
Nasal polyps can be caused by many different things, from allergies to bacteria. Airway inflammation and diseases are something we take very seriously. That's why we perform research and bring specialists like ENTs, allergists, pulmonologists, and neurologists together for meetings on how to best treat patients. Join the Snot Force today to learn more!
Smell loss can be devastating to quality of life.
SNOT FORCE researchers have identified significant associations of smell loss with COVID-19, discovering early on how people performed online search queries for smell loss even before smell loss became a known symptom of COVID-19. SNOT FORCE member, Dr. Elisa Illing, was recently interviewed for her expertise in this area of research.
WTHR 13 talked to Dr. Illing as she described smell training therapy as a way to recreating smells, much like physical therapy for the body.
Elisa Illing, MD is Assistant Professor, Chief of Rhinology and Anterior Skull Base Surgery at Indiana University and Secretary and Executive Board Member of Snot Force Alliance Inc.
Husband. Dad. Sinus Nerd. Humble President of Snot Force Alliance Inc. Find him taking out boogers and treating sinusitis in Louisville, KY.
Management of Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps: Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is Still the Best TreatmentRead Now
Our study showed that endoscopic sinus surgery is by far the most cost-effective way to improve symptoms of severe nasal polyp disease. It provides quick and profound relief.
The management strategies for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) in adults have improved immensely over the past decade. And add-on medicines, from sprays to rinses to biologics, are vital in controlling the associated inflammatory cascade. Some people need minimal maintenance while others need whatever you can give them!
The idea is to keep people feeling great and avoiding more harmful medicines like long-term oral corticosteroids.
Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps is a more complex disease than people think. It can take the form a mild severity to very difficult-to-control. CRSwNP can be associated with several other conditions, such as asthma and allergic rhinitis. It can also be related to an infectious process, such as staphylococcus aureus superantigens. Each of these factors play a role in how this condition is optimally treated.
Thomas Higgins, MD, MSPH
Husband. Dad. Sinus Nerd. Humble President of Snot Force Alliance Inc.