In Her Own Words

ENT Patient Finds Relief:
'Allergies No Longer Control My Days'

Now that Jennifer had the ClariFix procedure at FHN, she can cuddle in the house with her dogs, Jameo and Nova, without suffering from allergies. This procedure can typically be done in the office with minimal downtime and speedy recovery.

Sneezing, runny nose, congestion, drainage, fatigue, and headache are unpleasant for anyone. But Jennifer Newman of Freeport suffered with these symptoms every single day, until two procedures from FHN Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Surgeon Terry Donat, MD, FACS, FICS gave her back a normal life. Chronic, year-round allergies were the culprit. Jennifer explains, “I tried typical medications and treatments, but did not find relief.” Her two most tenacious triggers? Dust mites and animal dander. “I always needed a tissue close by and was sick and tired of feeling miserable,” she shares. She tried to avoid allergens, but just going about her everyday routine easily stirred up her symptoms. As a dog mom, she missed having her precious canine sidekick in the house with her. They had to make do with outside playtime.

After a friend referenced an article in the newspaper about new ENT procedures that might be able to help, Jennifer consulted with FHN Otolaryngologists Shawn Shianna, MD and Dr. Donat. She was thrilled to learn there were options that might help alleviate her constant discomfort.

During the exam, Jennifer also discovered that she had a particular type of deviated septum, which contributed to her allergy problems as well as her chronic headaches*. Dr. Donat recommended septoplasty surgery to straighten this cartilage in the nose, which separates the nostrils. He also suggested that Jennifer consider ClariFix®, a minimally invasive treatment using cryotherapy, which employs a cooling probe to freeze a small, inflamed area in the back of the nose. The ClariFix® device interrupts out-of-balance nasal nerve signals to reduce runny, stuffy nose symptoms.

Jennifer decided to move forward with both procedures. Typically, ClariFix® can be done in the office with just a local anesthetic, with minimal side effects. Since she was also having surgery to repair her deviated septum, Jennifer had both procedures done during outpatient surgery at FHN Memorial Hospital, under general anesthesia.

The results have changed her life. Now, Jennifer can enjoy a campfire, spend time outside, and cuddle with her canine companions – in the house! – without uncomfortable consequences.

“I would recommend FHN’s ENT group to others suffering from chronic allergies,” Jennifer says. “Everyone was great – kind and well informed. Dr. Donat even personally called me the next day to follow up. I feel really good about my care.”

More than 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic rhinitis, which results from inflammation of nasal membranes. It can be triggered by allergies, as well as other causes. Dr. Donat emphasizes, “Many people suffer needlessly, unaware that simple treatments can almost immediately improve their symptoms with few, shortterm side effects. I encourage those frustrated with relentless allergies – or who wish to reduce or eliminate their need for daily pills and nasal sprays – to consider these new alternatives! It is also important for people to know we never routinely use nasal packing, as was often done in decades past. Procedures are much simpler now, and less intrusive for patient comfort and recovery.”