Beginning in 2021, centers for Medicare and Medicaid services have approved a treatment for nonallergic rhinitis. Nonallergic rhinitis can cause chronic runny nose or chronic postnasal drip in the absence of allergies. Many patients with nasal allergies might also have a component of nonallergic rhinitis. For decades ENT doctors have been postulating that blockage of the sphenopalatine ganglion and the associated nerves that innervate the tiny mucus pumps in the nose could be used to help regulate runny nose. We now have a treatment. Our practice, Dr. Rogers, has done a few dozen of these starting several years ago before insurance approval was completely straighten out. We still have many insurance is not covering the device, but the cost of the procedure has come down substantially. Given that Medicare is now covering the procedure many other insurances will probably follow over the next several months.
The ablation procedure is done in the office or in a minor procedure suite using video endoscopy to guide using cold nitrous oxide to freeze the nerve endings. The freezing causes a breakdown in some of the nerve connections that reduces runny nose. Healing time is about a week or so.
The procedure may be coupled with other sinus or nasal procedures done at the same time.