Study Finds CO2 Relieves Seasonal Allergies

A recent Creighton University study shows that non-inhaled, intranasal carbon dioxide may be an effective treatment for many of the 40 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) due to pollens such as grass and ragweed.

Patients receiving CO2 reported improvement in congestion, sneezing and other nasal conditions within 10 minutes, and lasting 24 hours. Within 30 minutes of treatment, 50 percent of those taking CO2 reported more than a 50 percent improvement in nasal symptoms, compared to 27.6 percent in the placebo group.

The study used 89 subjects, 18 to 75 years of age, who had at least a two-year history of seasonal allergies requiring pharmacology. Of these, 60 received CO2, and 29 received plain air. Patients took the gas intranasally twice, once for each nostril, for a total dosage of 1,200 milliliters, avoiding inhaling the gas by breathing through the mouth, allowing the gas to flow in one nostril and out the other.

"It could be a good alternative for people who don’t want to take intranasal steroids," said Dr. Thomas B. Casale, MD, Chief of the Creighton School of Medicine’s Division of Allergy Immunology. He noted that despite currently available treatments, a significant number of patients with allergic rhinitis continue to suffer symptoms that impair their quality of life. The medical costs associated with SAR are estimated at $6 billion a year in the United States.

Thomas B. Casale, M.D., the study’s principal investigator, is president of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and the study will be published in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology.

Source: Creighton University

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