MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - An otolaryngologist in Montgomery is using a device he created to help patients regain their sense of smell, lost due to COVID-19.
After performing a number of sinus surgeries, Dr. Stephen Chandler noticed a common problem amongst the majority of his post-operative patients - they were not rinsing properly.
“Rinsing the nose is extremely important because surgery creates changes inside of the nose,” Dr. Chandler said.
Chandler knew that the problem could be fixed with the right tool, a tool that would allow patients to rinse out their noses without inadvertently being choked or gagged with water.
“So that’s how we came up with Complete Rinse,” Chandler said.
Using the Complete Rinse device, filled with distilled water and saline, patients can successfully clean out their sinuses without being choked. The unique feature of the Complete Rinse is that patients can use their own breathe to push the solution through their nasal canal.
“If you’re blowing into this device, you’re creating the flow using your breathe pressure,” Chandler said. “You’re also isolating your nose from the part that gags you, so it’s very hard to make yourself gag with this.”
Now, Dr. Chandler is recommending the device to COVID-19 patients who have lost their sense of smell.
“We actually can add medication into this and the research shows that using Budesonide, which is a nasal steroid, can have a significant impact on shorting the amount of time it takes to recover from the loss of sense of smell when someone’s infected with COVID,” Chandler said.
Dr. Chandler’s surgical assistant, Terry Vickers, said when she recommended Complete Rinse to one of her COVID patients, it helped.
“After seven days she was able to smell again, and she loved it,” Vickers said.
Dr. Chandler said he has received a lot of positive responses from patients that have used the device. Whether it be postoperatively, to help with sleep, sinus congestion or COVID-19.
Loss of smell can occur suddenly in people with COVID-19 and is often accompanied by loss of taste. A recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that the average prevalence of loss of smell was 41 percent.
The Complete Rinse is not the only device Dr. Chandler has created. He also invented a wristband hand sanitizer device used to help mitigate the spread of germs during the pandemic.
For more information on the Complete Rinse, visit their website.