Medical Moment: XHANCE gives patient his sense of smell back

Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 7:20 PM EDT
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It’s that time of year when seasonal allergy sufferers will begin to feel the effect of grass, flowers, and plants in bloom.

People who can’t get relief from blocked sinuses can develop chronic sinusitis, or even nasal polyps — which are soft growths that line the nasal passages.

But now, there’s a new device designed to help patients breathe more freely.

Cato Coleman is a registered dietician who works in food service. But a few years ago, his allergies became too much to handle.

“I was having trouble breathing through my nose and chewing at the same time,” Coleman said.

Coleman was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps, which were wrecking his sense of taste and smell.

“So, someone who loves to cook, someone who loves food, someone who works in the food business not being able to smell food, really took away from that,” Coleman said.

ENT Surgeon Adam Spiess removed the polyps and then last year, recommended Coleman try a new device designed to treat people with chronic sinus problems that result in nasal polyps. The system is called XHANCE.

“It is different because it delivers the medications higher up in the nose,” Spiess said.

XHANCE is inserted in a person’s nose and mouth. As the user exhales, a common medication called fluticasone is delivered deep into the sinuses, where over-the-counter nasal sprays can’t reach. Spiess says the device has reduced his patients’ symptoms.

“I’ve had a lot of patients that have not had to have surgery, which typically, we would have to have surgery in the past,” Spiess said.

Cato has been using XHANCE daily for almost a year. He’s regained his sense of smell, and as a bonus, he’s sleeping better than he has in years.

The XHANCE system is FDA approved but needs to be prescribed by doctors for patients with chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps. There are clinical trials underway for patients who have chronic sinusitis without nasal polyps.




REPORT: MB #5194

BACKGROUND: Chronic sinusitis occurs when the spaces inside your nose and head (sinuses) are swollen and inflamed for three months or longer, despite treatment. This common condition interferes with the way mucus normally drains and makes your nose stuffy. Breathing through your nose may be difficult, and the area around your eyes might feel swollen or tender. Chronic sinusitis can be brought on by an infection, by growths in the sinuses (nasal polyps) or by swelling of the lining of your sinuses. Also called chronic rhinosinusitis, the condition can affect both adults and children. Sinusitis affects 37 million people each year, making it one of the most common health problems in the U.S. It is more prevalent than heart disease and asthma and has a greater impact on quality of life than chronic back pain or congestive heart failure.


DIAGNOSING: Common signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis include: nasal inflammation, thick and discolored discharge from the nose, drainage down the back of the throat, blocked or stuffy nose, reduced sense of tastes and smell, ear pain, headache, aching in upper jaw and teeth, bad breath, and/or fatigue. Methods for diagnosing chronic sinusitis include: imaging tests, looking into your sinuses, an allergy test, and/or sample from nasal and sinus discharge.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: XHANCE is the only FDA-approved prescription nasal spray that uses the Exhalation Delivery System™ to treat nasal polyps. You blow into XHANCE, you don’t sniff. Your breath helps deliver medicine high and deep into your nasal passages where nasal polyps occur. That means the medicine should reach the source of the problem. Because you blow when you use XHANCE, you may also limit the medicine from dripping down your throat, so more medicine is directed to where it’s needed to help treat your nasal polyps and related symptoms.