New procedure helping people with nasal congestion issues breathe easy again

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — People with allergies are suffering now that it's spring, and for those with nasal congestion, it’s even worse.

For years, Deanna Venzon has had to breathe through her mouth. Nasal sprays and strips just weren’t cutting it.

“The last three to four years, it has definitely gotten worse,” Venzon said. “Honestly, I really just learned to live with it."

But a new procedure is helping Venzon and others with congestion problems breathe easy again.

Channel 2 anchor Wendy Corona went to the North Atlanta ENT in Cumming, where Dr. Joel Hoffman showed her how the procedure works.

With a simple, single use hand tool, Dr. Joel Hoffman is able to use radio frequency to melt away tissue that swells and blocks the nasal passage. The procedure takes 15 minutes to perform and a local topical anesthetic is used.

“I had a patient a few weeks ago tell me that if felt like they were getting oxygen for the first time,” Hoffman told Corona.

The "vivaer," as it's called, works on the nasal walls and the turbinate, which is the area that swells with allergies and colds.

“We can actually use the vivaer when we do the nasal valve also to shrink the turbinates at the same time,” Hoffman explained.

Hoffman said he has been doing this procedure since October with great success.

Some patients say they feel results while still in the chair, but most feel optimal results about six weeks out.

“My hope is to be able to breathe, for the first time in a long time,” Venzon told Corona.