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We provide the latest updates on bioelectronics therapy for chronic conditions, and also serve as a trusted information resource for allergy sufferers.

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Should I Schedule an Online or In-Office Visit With My ENT/Allergist?

June 2020

Doctors weigh in on what you need to know

 

As our healthcare system has been overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, many patients have postponed non-critical treatments, surgeries, or routine appointments.[1] These patients are scared to leave their homes, and so overwhelmed by COVID-19’s impact on their everyday lives that they risk not seeking proper treatment for chronic conditions.

Dr. Maeve O’Connor, MD, founder and physician at Allergy Asthma and Immunology Relief of Charlotte, North Carolina, says, “Some of my patients with chronic allergy symptoms are uncertain about whether or not it’s safe to come into the office, so they delay making appointments.

I encourage patients who suffer from allergies and sinus pain to seek proper care, regardless of whether they have a chronic, recurrent, or acute condition - and there are ways that they can feel comfortable doing so, without leaving home, such as scheduling an online/telehealth appointment.”

Telehealth has become much more integrated into medical care today, and has vastly changed the doctor-patient relationship. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Dr. O’Connor has seen an increase of up to 50% more telehealth appointments in her practice.

While a large part of allergy and ENT practice involves physical diagnosis – from performing laryngoscopies, biopsies, or immunotherapy (allergy shots), to therapeutic “interventions” like ear cleanings – some common conditions like acute sinusitis can also be diagnosed by symptoms, using telehealth, to start.

For patients who want to be seen, Dr. Mark Mehle, MD, an ENT-Otolaryngologist in Cleveland, Ohio, first offers telehealth appointments to review their symptoms, then makes recommendations based on those symptoms. When feasible, treatments are made with over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal steroids, or by prescription. If a patient has symptoms that cannot be treated remotely, they are advised to book an in-office visit. For example, someone experiencing hearing loss would need to schedule an in-person hearing test or other diagnostics to see what’s blocking the ear canal.

Now that telehealth is covered by Medicare and reimbursed at the same level as in-office visits, physicians encourage patients to use it for initial evaluations and routine care.[2] 

Dr. Alan Goldsobel, an allergist and immunology specialist based in San Jose, California, pre-screens his patients at the time that the appointment is booked. “We screen patients for COVID-19 symptoms including cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell within 14 days. Patients who fail the screening are considered for more detailed screening or evaluated via telehealth.

When they do come into the office, we take their temperature again. We screen patients extensively, and our staff is tested for symptoms regularly – we just keep refining the process.”

As some states cautiously reopen this month, physicians like Dr. O’Connor are advising patients to strictly follow their state government’s guidelines and not bend the rules. “Patients should not be afraid to seek the proper care they need – which includes reaching out for help if they are feeling isolated or anxious. Most insurance providers cover mental health services now.”[3]

Patients who are concerned about risking infection from an office visit should check with their doctor’s office for safety measures and guidelines. Many healthcare practitioners like Dr. O’Connor, Dr. Mehle, and Dr. Goldsobel are now implementing guidelines from these organizations to ensure that their staff and patients stay safe:

For more on this topic, check out our recently published blog on how ENTs and allergists keep their offices safe.

 

[1] Salesforce, “How Pack Health Scales Fast to Help High-Risk Populations,” 4/24/20, https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2020/04/pack-health-scales-fast-with-health-cloud.html?eid=ss-hls-blog&nc=7010M000000ZX2UQAW&d=7010M000000uW0VQAU

[2] Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, “Medicare Telemedicine Health Care Provider Fact Sheet”, 3/17/20, https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/medicare-telemedicine-health-care-provider-fact-sheet

[3] American Psychological Association, Does Your Insurance Cover Mental Health Services?, https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/parity-guide ...Read More

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How Safe is Your ENT or Allergist’s Office?

June 2020

How doctors are protecting patients and staff from COVID-19

Since mid-March, many physician practices and medical offices have asked patients to postpone scheduled routine appointments for a later date. Decisions like these were made to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and to protect patients, staff and doctors.[1]

As many states slowly start to reopen and resume business activity, how do you know if it’s safe to go see your doctor for a medical issue?

The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNC), has published a set of guidelines and recommendations for a safe return to practice, which practitioners have now started to implement.

According to Dr. Alan Goldsobel, M.D., allergy specialist at the Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California, “Patients are screened for their exposures as well as symptoms before they come in, and we also check our staff for fever and other symptoms, or if they’ve been exposed to known COVID-19 patients. Exam rooms, tools, pens, or any items that patients have come in contact with are sanitized with germicidal solution.”

The thought process has changed dramatically, where doctors and staff used to wear masks to protect patients, however, these days, it’s all about protecting both patients and staff.

Dr. Mark Mehle, M.D., an ENT-Otolaryngologist in Cleveland, Ohio, says, “We do our best to reassure patients that we have protective measures in place, for their safety and our staff’s. All patients are reminded to practice social distancing, and are required to wear masks when they come in.

Appointments are scheduled such that waiting time is minimized, and no one sits in the waiting room (where chairs and magazines have been removed). Family members are now asked to wait in the car.

We also coordinate patient appointment bookings with other doctors in our office to keep patients evenly spaced, and to give us time to sanitize rooms between visits.”

Dr. Maeve O’Connor, M.D., Medical Director and Founder of Allergy Asthma & Immunology Relief in Charlotte, North Carolina keeps patients informed via email and social media with COVID-19 related updates in the local Charlotte area and her practice specifically.

“Additionally, we have hand sanitizers and bright-colored social distancing signs posted all around the office. When it is mandatory to treat patients closer than 6 feet away, all of my staff including the providers protect themselves and the patients by wearing full gowns, gloves, masks, foot protection and goggles – with face shields worn over masks.

To minimize the spread of infection, we also limit performing certain procedures, such as pulmonary function testing (spirometry) because droplets can be blown into the air. We only do those when it’s absolutely necessary, and we have plexiglass barriers so testing is completely contained; and it’s cleaned thoroughly after each use,” says Dr. O’Connor.

Dr. Mehle adds, “In the longer term, we may expect doctors to use more face shields or N95 masks for medical procedures. And HEPA filters in offices. Far more attention would be paid to social isolation and proper sanitation techniques.”

Social distancing will likely continue for a while, and we may be wearing masks everywhere for the time being. It could be a while before we go back to the way things were before.

 

[1] Modernhealthcare.com, “Physician practices modify operations to cope with COVID-19”, 3/17/20, https://www.modernhealthcare.com/physicians/physician-practices-modify-operations-cope-covid-19 ...Read More

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Why Seeing Your Allergist or ENT Won’t Ever Be the Same Again

May 2020

How COVID-19 has changed the doctor-patient relationship, and what we can expect

COVID-19 has dramatically changed how patients and doctors interact, and will likely have long-term effects as well.

These days, many physicians are only seeing patients in-office with acute conditions that need immediate care. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNC) advises physicians to use telehealth for follow-ups, minor chronic care visits, prescription refills or lab result reviews.[1]

And while there is a lack of physical contact with telehealth, many patients are grateful for this type of interaction as their anxiety levels are obviously very high. Doctors are able to provide advice and care management tips to get patients through this tough time.[2]

Dr. Maeve O’Connor, Medical Director and Founder of Allergy Asthma & Immunology Relief in Charlotte, North Carolina says that while she’s experienced an uptick in telehealth visits of up to 50%, it does not replace in-office visits. “Allergies can’t be treated remotely, nor can we provide proper antibody replacement therapy for immunodeficient patients from a distance, when patients need to be monitored,” she says.

Just last week, ENT-Otolaryngologist Dr. Mark Mehle, M.D., based in Cleveland, Ohio, resumed performing elective surgeries. (Ohio governor, Mike DeWine approved elective surgeries in the state, on a case-by-case basis effective May 1st.[3]) Decisions will be made carefully to keep patients and staff safe. Procedures to treat infections will be prioritized over less-critical ones like relieving chronic nasal blockages from a deviated septum.

“The thought process has certainly changed - masks worn in the operating room used to be about protecting the patient, but now it’s about protecting doctors and staff too,” says Dr. Mehle.

 

What changes can we expect to see in the coming months?

Telehealth can only go so far. As the doctor-patient relationship is primarily based on healing and trust, the lack of hands-on live contact can make it much harder to build that relationship. 2

According to Dr. Alan Goldsobel, M.D., an allergy specialist based in San Jose, California, “Telehealth will become a part of medical care more than ever. But basic medical care is still very hands-on – it’s tough to view, touch, and examine patients solely with telehealth. Younger patients who are more digitally oriented may be more comfortable with telehealth than the older generation.”

We live in unprecedented times, and Dr. O’Connor sums it up well: “My patients are much more appreciative of me as their healthcare provider, and I care about them too. My staff also appreciates their mission and purpose (along with having an income stream), which in turn, improves patient care. It has become less about punching the clock than making sure patients get seen and treated.”

 

[1] American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, “Guidance for Return to Practice for Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Part One” 5/8/20, https://www.entnet.org/sites/default/files/guidance_for_return_to_practice_part_1_final_050520.pdf

[2] Harvard Medical School, “COVID-19’s Impact on Patient Care in the Primary Care Setting”, 3/31/20, https://postgraduateeducation.hms.harvard.edu/thought-leadership/covid-19s-impact-patient-care-primary-care-setting

[3] WLWT5-NBC News, “Ohio easing restrictions on elective surgeries, one of first steps in reopening economy,” 4/22/20, https://www.wlwt.com/article/ohio-easing-restrictions-on-elective-surgeries-one-of-first-steps-in-reopening-economy/32239928

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Expert Tips for Reducing Your Stress

April 2020

With Dr. Blake Gurfein, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Tivic Health Systems

Our Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Blake Gurfein, happens to have academic expertise in this area. While at the University of California San Francisco, he conducted research on the biological impacts of stress on the brain and immune system and how stress reduction techniques can be beneficial. 

Dr. Gurfein shares that there is a biological reason to reduce your stress now.  Why?  Because chronic stress and persistent stress hormone production have been linked to weakened immune function.


Here are 5 tips for reducing stress levels based on his research:  

 

  • Limit your consumption of news.  Of course, it is important to stay informed about the current health crisis, however getting incessant alerts, scrolling through your news feed, and keeping television news on all day will send anyone into a panic. Try to set a healthy boundary around when and how long you will consume news each day (e.g., 30 minutes in the morning). Read the articles, not just the headlines; headlines often contain different information. Stick to fact-checked reputable news organizations.

 

  • Keep moving. Exercise has been shown to reduce stress and elevate mood. Try to do some form of physical activity every day. Go for a walk or run, take an online yoga class in your living room, or do some jumping jacks. Heed the instructions of your county if exercising outside (e.g., keep 6 feet away from others).

 

  • Stay connected. Many of us are feeling isolated because of shelter in place orders or because our normal routines have been disrupted. Take advantage of the many ways you can continue to connect with your friends, family, and colleagues. Write an email, pick up the phone, or videocall. Videocalls are particularly powerful in trying times. Try to interact with your community on daily basis to alleviate loneliness and bolster your sense of community support.

 

  • Try meditating. Meditation is powerful practice that has been shown to be very effective at reducing stress and anxiety. As little as five or ten minutes of meditation can be enough to quiet your mind and experience stillness. Guided practices are a great way to get some experience meditating. We recommend trying a free 10 minute meditation provided by Headspace.

 

  • Laugh more. Laughter can lighten any situation and has been shown to potently reduce stress. Find ways to laugh each day.  This can be through playing games with your family like charades, watching standup comedy, or putting on your favorite funny movie.

 

Feel free to send us a good joke via email or on social media to keep us laughing.

For more stress reduction approaches, visit Verywell Mind.

Note: These recommendations are for healthy individuals, if you are ill, consult with your healthcare provider. ...Read More

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What Does Shortness of Breath Feel Like? Doctors Explain This Coronavirus Symptom

March 2020

Source: Health.com with Subinoy Das, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Tivic Health Systems

Yes, it can be a sign of COVID-19...but it's also a symptom of anxiety.

Dry cough, fever, fatigue—by now, most have heard about the commonest symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). For the most part, those symptoms are pretty self-explanatory. But another common symptom—shortness of breath—has been raising a lot of questions, including what the sensation feels like, and when it might warrant a call to your doctor (or a trip to the emergency room).

Essentially, shortness of breath—aka, dyspnea or breathlessness—is "a group of subjective sensations that suggest our respiratory system is not functioning well," Subinoy Das, MD, chief medical officer of Tivic Health Inc tells Health. Those sensations usually feel like an increased work or effort to breathe, chest tightness, and air hunger or "the feeling of not getting enough oxygen." he says.

Shortness of breath can be caused by a number of things, according to the American Lung Association (ALA)—the least severe of which include strenuous exercise, extreme temperatures, or high altitude. Even anxiety—which many of us are feeling right now—can sometimes lead to a sensation of breathlessness. Sometimes, however, shortness of breath can signal more serious illnesses like asthma, heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). And in some cases, when shortness of breath comes on quickly, it can signal emergency situations like carbon monoxide poisoning, pneumonia, or a heart attack, per the ALA.

When it comes to COVID-19, shortness of breath is thought to be due to the development of pneumonia, an inflammation of the lungs linked to a coronavirus infection, says Dr. Das. In that case, the shortness of breath occurs when oxygen in the lungs doesn't make its way to the blood as a result of the viral attack, he adds. The American College of Chest Physicians echoes this, saying that when blood carbon dioxide levels rise, a person's breathing rate can increase, which can lead to the sensation of difficulty breathing. Too much acid in the blood from an infection can also lead to the feeling of breathlessness, per the ACCP.

For some diagnosed with COVID-19, shortness of breath is a more severe symptom, and can be treated in a hospital setting with supplemental oxygen, says Dr. Das. The extra oxygen helps increase the amount of oxygen in a patient's blood. "In rare cases, pressurized oxygen through a mechanical ventilator is needed to force the oxygen through severely inflamed lungs into the blood stream," adds Dr. Das.

Overall, if you're worried you're experiencing shortness of breath possibly related to COVID-19, the first thing to do is try to calm down (easier said than done)—that's because, again, shortness of breath is a common symptom of anxiety. In that moment, take stock of how your body is feeling and looking overall: anxiety can also make your heart race, palms sweat, and pupils dilate.

If you're still concerned about a possible coronavirus infection after that—and you have other symptoms common with coronavirus, like dry cough, fever, and fatigue—give your doctor a call; they can then help you determine whether you qualify for a COVID-19 test. However, if your shortness of breath is severe, and accompanied by other symptoms like chest pain, lightheadedness, and lips turning blue, it's best to seek medical attention ASAP. ...Read More

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What is a Dry Cough? Experts Explain the Coronavirus Symptom

March 2020

Source: Health.com with Subinoy Das, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Tivic Health Systems

Here's how it's different from other coughs you've had.

You've heard the typical symptoms by now: fever, shortness of breath, dry cough—about 80 percent of those with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), only get those mild signs, according to research. And while one of those symptoms—a cough—may sound pretty easy to diagnose, many are questioning what exactly a dry cough is, and how it's different from other coughs.

Basically, a dry cough is "one where no mucus or phlegm is produced with the cough," Subinoy Das, MD an Ohio-based ear nose and throat physician, and medical director for the US Institute for Advanced Sinus Care & Research, tells Health. Conversely, a wet cough "is one filled with mucus or phlegm where someone can actually feel the mucus move in their bronchi or throat," he says, adding that "mucus expectorates or leaves the chest with each [wet] cough."

A dry cough may also sound different than a wet cough. "It has a very consistent sound," says Dr. Das—often triggered by a tickle in the back of your throat, with a barking or hoarse sound. That's because "the airway is not constantly changing with the cough," says Dr. Das. (With a wet cough, mucus builds up, then leaves, constantly changing the airways.)  He explains that, while dry coughs don't necessarily hurt, they are “unsatisfying coughs, because no mucus or phlegm is expelled past the vocal cords.” Still, the coughing can get so hard that the person can possibly injure their ribs or intercostal muscles (the muscles that run between the ribs).

It's important to remember, however, that dry coughs can be a symptom of a variety of other illnesses—not just COVID-19—including, allergies, asthma, bronchitis, or a typical common cold, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. However, Dr. Das explains that if you have any other symptoms related to COVID-19, like a fever, unexplained loss of taste or smell, or gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, you should call your doctor to inquire about getting tested for coronavirus.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests cough medicine, humidifiers, and cough drops to ease the discomfort of a flu-related dry cough, Dr. Das points out that currently, there are no medically proven ways to reduce a dry cough from COVID-19, but those with symptoms can use the above remedies to help relieve them, as well. Dr. Das also recommends taking steamy showers, “which helps thin the mucus building up in the nose or nasopharynx that could possibly be worsening a patient’s cough.” And if you do test positive for coronavirus, or if you believe you have it, it's necessary to self-isolate so you don't make those around you ill, as well.

  ...Read More

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Allergies, Flu and Corona Virus – What to Know

March 2020

Much of our population is rightfully concerned about catching the coronavirus, properly known as COVID-19. How can we tell if we are suffering from COVID-19, typical seasonal allergies, or another common ailment such as the flu or the common cold?

It is not easy to distinguish between all of these respiratory ailments. However, for COVID-19, time to onset of symptoms from exposure is typically five days, ranging from 2-14 days. In nearly 90% of patients, the first symptom will be a high fever, often above 101 degrees Fahrenheit. This is often followed by a dry cough, where not much mucus or phlegm is produced.

For most patients, particularly those under 40 without underlying health conditions, these may be the only symptoms that one might experience.

Some may experience more severe symptoms, particularly older patients, those on steroids or immunosuppressive drugs, chronic smokers, or those who have underlying health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, or respiratory problems.

More serious symptoms include shortness of breath typically 5-10 days after the initial fever. This can be accompanied by fatigue, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, and other symptoms.

Patients can rapidly deteriorate after developing shortness of breath and may need prolonged oxygen therapy, mechanical ventilation, and intensive care. Elderly patients or those with underlying health complications should seek hospitalization if they develop shortness of breath 5 days after a high fever.

Allergic rhinitis from seasonal and year-round allergies is typically associated with itchy eyes, sneezing, and nasal congestion and is not associated with a high fever.

Other ailments such as a common cold may have similar symptoms to COVID-19 but do not often cause shortness of breath after the fever. Influenza does mimic COVID-19 very closely but the shortness of breath is not usually as severe as it is with COVID-19.

Congestion and facial pain or pressure are not symptoms associated with COVID-19, and likely indicate a more common cold, flu or allergies.

To prevent spreading any illness, people should wash hands often and vigorously. This is the best behavior to minimize risk of infection. Patients should also limit public exposure, avoid travel to areas with known outbreaks or crowds of people, and stock up on supplies necessary for a several week quarantine, including non-perishable food, prescription medicines (ideally a 30-90 day supply if possible). If you are elderly or have underlying health problems, then limiting exposure to other people as much as possible is prudent until anti-viral therapies and/or a vaccine is developed.

Patients on steroid therapy or immunosuppressive therapy should consult with their physician to discuss whether reducing or avoiding these medications for the short-term might be appropriate.

If you suspect that you may have COVID-19, you should call your physician or local health department and inquire about testing options which are becoming more available throughout the country.

If you develop shortness of breath after the onset of a fever, then call your local emergency room and/or 911 immediately, particularly if over the age of 60 or if you have any underlying health problems.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the world as we deal with the crisis.
 

Subinoy Das, MD

Chief Medical Officer
Tivic Health Systems

Other Useful Resources:

CDC Covid-19 What You Should Know
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
CNBC Corona Virus Updates ...Read More

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What’s triggering your spring allergies?

March 2020

Spring is in the air and so is pollen. Several states including California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Alabama, and South Carolina, have the highest pollen counts, making it potentially miserable for allergy sufferers.

Dr. Alan Goldsobel, an allergist and immunology specialist based in San Jose, California, stated “Where you live impacts the start and end of allergy season, and the severity of your symptoms.

Common symptoms include itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, scratchy throat, dark circles under the eyes and nasal and sinus congestion.  Less common symptoms include facial pain, sinus headache, earache, or loss of smell.”

Here are some key triggers by region:

  • From New Mexico through California and Washington, common Juniper and Rocky Mountain Juniper are notoriously severe allergens, followed by willow, ash, oak and maple.
  • Southern California residents are hit with allergens from as far away as Nevada and Arizona, due to Santa Ana wind conditions.
  • In North Texas, pollen from oaks, pecans, or ash trees are the worst offenders, and in other parts of the state, Bermuda, Johnson, and Rye grasses pollinate from spring through October.
  • Florida’s mild weather makes plants pollinate 12 months in a year – making it a perennial pollen state. According to Jacquelynne Corey, physician at Chicago Nasal and Sinus Center, “plants that are wind-pollinated  are the worst  on allergy sufferers. I’ve travelled to Florida regularly over the years and have experienced the thick film of pollen on my car firsthand.”
  • In Louisiana, elms, Bradford pears, and especially oak trees are the worst offenders.
  • When South Carolina’s weather goes from extreme cold to warm quickly, pollen from oak and bayberry trees in particular, hit hard.

Here are some drug-free tips to prevent and fight allergy symptoms:

  • Monitor local pollen counts.
  • Keep windows closed and use central air conditioning with air filtration.
  • Add drug-free, quick and convenient ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief to your regimen. This handy device is FDA cleared and clinically proven so it’s safe and effective. A single treatment takes only 5 minutes! When used twice a day for four weeks, sinus pain was reduced by 43%.
  • Use a certified allergy-friendly air cleaner.
  • Wash clothes worn during outside activities and take a shower before bed.

...Read More

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10 Tips for Fighting Winter Allergies

February 2020

Fighting winter allergies?

Staying indoors for most of the winter season increases exposure to indoor allergens like dust, mold, pet dander, and cockroach droppings.

A survey from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that at least 6 allergens were detectable in more than 50% of homes.

While no home can be allergen-free, there are common sense steps you can take to help reduce allergen exposure to keep your allergies from taking control of you.

“Indoor allergens can be significantly reduced by using dust-mite proof covers and bedding, minimizing carpeted surface areas, and keeping pets out of bedrooms and living areas as much as possible,” said Dr. Alan Goldsobel, a practicing allergist at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California.

Here are 10 other tips to help you keep allergies under control:

1) Replace your air filter every 90 days – try changing it with the start of each season, to help you remember.

2) Bedrooms are the most allergen-prone, due to dust mites – in addition to using hypoallergenic bedding and sheets, wash them weekly in very hot water – at least 130 degrees. Limit stuffed animals to 1 or 2 that are washable.

3) Wash your pet’s favorite furniture and toys often.

4) Dust mites accumulate in carpets and heavy upholstery, so opt for smooth-surface floors and furniture (leather and vinyl are better furniture options).

5) Air cleaners with certified allergy-friendly filters can filter out almost 98% of allergen air particles.

6) Vacuum once or twice a week and be sure to look for certified asthma allergy-friendly vacuums with HEPA filters.

7) Tired of taking medicines? New on the market is ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief device – a drug-free, FDA cleared, clinically proven handheld device for allergy-related sinus pain.  It’s easy to use, convenient and a single treatment takes only 5 minutes! When used twice a day for two weeks, sinus pain was reduced by 43%.

8) Use a humidity meter to monitor humidity levels in your home – the CDC recommends keeping it below 50% to reduce dust mites and prevent mold growth.

9) Use vent fans to clear the air after cooking or showering, and clean all solid surfaces regularly with 5% bleach cleaning solution.

10) Use poison baits, boric acid and traps instead of chemicals to control cockroaches. Keep all food stored in sealed containers, garbage cans covered, and emptied regularly. ...Read More

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Cedar Fever – What Is It, and How Can You Cope?

January 2020

Allergy sufferers who live in South and Central Texas are quite familiar with allergy symptom triggers caused by pollen from native cedar or juniper trees. Cedar allergy season runs from November through March, but December, January, and February are peak months.[1]

Cedar trees pollinate during this time of year, releasing large amounts of pollen particles into the air that can travel with the wind for hundreds of miles. Timing and severity of cedar pollination is determined by rainfall amounts and other weather conditions.

Winter months in South and Central Texas cities like Austin and San Antonio, and surrounding areas are the most brutal for allergy sufferers, where cedar fever can bring on flu-like symptoms.

Symptoms can be severe and include itchy, watery, red eyes; nasal congestion, runny nose, sinus pressure; sore throat, fatigue, and sometimes slightly elevated body temperature.[2]


Coping with Cedar Allergies

If you’re susceptible to cedar pollen, there are a few things you can do to manage your symptoms:

  • Stay proactive even before cedar allergy season begins – the most benefit occurs when you start taking your medications a few weeks in advance
  • If you prefer drug-free alternatives, consider using the ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief device, an FDA-cleared and clinically proven solution. ClearUP is a small handheld alternative for allergy-related sinus pain and one treatment takes only 5 minutes.  Use it 2 times a day for 2 weeks for maximum effectiveness.
  • For other natural alternatives, you could reach for a Neti pot or saline rinse once a day
  • Monitor local pollen counts – knowing when pollen counts are highest will help you manage your symptoms
  • Stay indoors whenever possible, and change air filters frequently throughout the year[3]
  • Keep doors and windows closed, and run the air conditioner on extremely high pollen count days
  • Your vacuum cleaner should contain a HEPA filter to trap pollen to prevent it from being re-released into the air[4]
  • Shower and change clothes after going outside, to remove cedar pollen from clothing and hair[5]
  • Bathe pets more frequently during cedar season
  • Replace cedar trees in your yard with good hardwoods like elm, ash, or oak[6]

 

Sources:

[1], 2 “What You Need to Know About Cedar Fever”, RediClinic Blog, January 24, 2018, https://www.rediclinic.com/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-cedar-fever/

[3], 5 “New to Austin? Only a matter of time before you get cedar fever”, Statesman, December 10, 2018, https://www.statesman.com/news/20181210/new-to-austin-only-matter-of-time-before-you-get-cedar-fever

[4], 6 “Cedar allergy remedies that work”, TexasMedClinic.com, December 11, 2018, https://www.texasmedclinic.com/cedar-allergy-remedies-that-work/

 

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2020 Consumer Electronic Show for Tivic Health was a HIT!
2020 Consumer Electronic Show for Tivic Health was a HIT!

January 2020

Thanks again to our community who voted day in and day out!  ClearUP® tied with WOWCube and Comper ThermArt for first place in the prestigious Last Gadget Standing People’s Choice Awards. Congratulations to our fellow winners. We greatly appreciate your consistent support throughout the voting process!

“I am a happy customer… Four days ago I got one of these and two days ago, everything is better,” said George Jones. Thousands came by our booth 50527 at Eureka Park.  We were often 8-10 people deep at any time with future partners and allergy-ridden sufferers waiting to learn about and experience the revolutionary results of ClearUP. “I tried it the first day and I came back the next day and I can’t wait to get one” said one attendee.  “I am a happy customer… Four days ago I got one of these and two days ago, everything is better,” said George Jones.

VP of Manufacturing, Chandra Durisety at the showcaseThousands more passed by the CES Innovation Showcase room to take a peek at all of the great products on display, including ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief.  Here’s our VP of Manufacturing, Chandra Durisety at the showcase.

What an honor for Tivic Health CEO Jennifer Ernst to speak at the Digital Health Summit on A New Wave of Electric Medicine: No Rx Required in front of a large tech crowd of 500+. Important publications like Forbes and PC Magazine covered it here.

Tivic Health CEO Jennifer Ernst speaking at the Digital Health Summit

Here's some more notable CES media coverage for ClearUP:

Looking forward to CES 2021!

Tivic Health Team ...Read More

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Consumer Electronic Show 2020 (CES) starts with a bang!

December 2019

Awards at CES

Tivic Health is headed to CES 2020!  We will exhibit at CES Eureka Park, along with fellow CES Innovation Award honorees.  Tivic Health’s ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief is also a finalist in the prestigious Last Gadget Standing CES Award (please vote for us again!).

Speaking at CES

In addition, Tivic Health CEO Jennifer Ernst will give a presentation at the CES Digital Health Summit on A New Wave of Electric Medicine: No Rx Required. She will examine how bioelectronic medicine is harnessing the electrical properties of human physiology and how state-of-the-art, non-invasive treatments are producing massive therapeutic benefits.

“The human body is an electrochemical system. For decades, medicine has focused on the chemistry part of the equation. Now we are seeing many companies developing ways to intervene on the electrical side.  Tivic Health is proud to be on the forefront of bringing bioelectronic medicine to the mainstream with accessible and affordable over-the-counter products,” said Jennifer Ernst, CEO of Tivic Health.

CES press events

We are also participating in the Unveiled press event on January 5th, and a satellite media tour later in the week with reporter Andrea Smith.

Announcing more ClearUP benefits in Bioelectronic Medicine Publication

ClearUP is the first bioelectronic solution for sinus pain cleared by the FDA. According to McKinsey & Associates, Bioelectronic Medicine “has the potential to become a pillar of medical treatment and play a key role in the future of medtech innovation.” Read Tivic Health’s new paper in Bioelectronic Medicine which reveals results of a four-week clinical study demonstrating 43% reduction in sinus symptom severity after using ClearUP regularly. ...Read More

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ClearUP Named to TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2019

December 2019

We are honored and excited that ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief has been named to TIME’s list of 100 Best Inventions for 2019 in the health care category!

This annual list recognizes 100 groundbreaking inventions that are making the world better, smarter and more fun.

ClearUP was among many global nominees in the health care category, who were evaluated based on originality, effectiveness, ambition and influence. The 2019 TIME Best Inventions list was assembled from editors and correspondents around the world and through an online application process.

“The bioelectronics industry is generating new non-drug therapies and this new class of devices represents an emerging vertical in healthcare that is currently in its infancy but is showing promise in addressing serious conditions including depression, chronic pain, Parkinson’s, PTSD, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and others”, said Jennifer Ernst, CEO of Tivic Health. “There is a plethora of new products just now getting clearance from the FDA and an explosion in this new area of medicine is beginning to happen.” ...Read More

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Is the Change in Weather Triggering Your Allergy Symptoms?

November 2019

In recent years, scientists have become increasingly interested in understanding how various weather patterns and extreme conditions impact our health.

In fact, we often associate weather changes with our allergy symptoms because some seasons bring in specific allergens that trigger sneezing, wheezing, and runny noses. For instance, mold grows in the winter months, pollen is rampant during spring season, ragweed in the fall, and poison ivy is widespread in the summer.  Transitions between seasons are often the most challenging periods for allergy sufferers.

The colder months can also trigger indoor allergens – like pet dander and dust mites. While dust mites are common during humid summer months, they can get stirred into the air the first time you turn on your heat in the fall. We become more susceptible to these allergens as we spend more time indoors when it’s cold out.

And while mold is known to grow in damp basements and bathrooms, wet outdoor conditions are ideal breeding grounds for mold – such as piles of wet leaves. Going back to school can also trigger allergies in kids as mold and dust mites are common in schools.

The effects of climate change have also pushed temperatures up and brought higher-than-average rainfall levels, thereby increasing allergy season length and its intensity.1

In some parts of the U.S., dust mites and pollen can exist year-round due to the humidity of the rainy season and homes that are not completely weather-tight.2

Regional conditions such as high winds and rains can also “wake up” trees and grasses, and send out pollen clouds to affected areas.3

 

What can you do to relieve your allergy symptoms?

 

While it’s not possible to avoid the weather, understanding your triggers and limiting exposure to them can significantly impact your quality of life.

Control your indoor environment by using a dehumidifier to ward off mold and dust mites, or use a HEPA filter to remove mold, pollen, and other particles from the air.4

Check local air quality levels, pollen and mold counts, and watch for Ozone Action Days. Spend less time outdoors if you’re susceptible to these triggers. Or wear a mask when performing outdoor tasks and activities.5

Before turning on your heat for the first time, clean heating vents and change the air filter to clear out remnant bits of mold and allergens from the summer.

Besides over-the-counter allergy remedies, there are other ways to minimize symptoms such as use of a neti pot (nasal rinse) or sweeping away allergens (vacuuming can spread more allergens).  In some cases, these treatments are not enough, so it’s best to consult with an allergist to get the proper diagnosis.

 

Notes:

[1]“This Year’s Bay Area Pollen Season Is Really Bad. Here’s Why”, KQED Science, May 20, 2019, https://www.kqed.org/science/1941908/this-years-bay-area-pollen-season-is-really-bad-heres-why

[2], [3] “Coping with San Diego’s Year-Round Allergy Season”, Scripps Health, October 26, 2018, https://www.scripps.org/news_items/4182-coping-with-san-diego-s-year-round-allergy-season

[4], [5] “How Weather Affects Allergies,” WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/allergies/how-weather-affects-allergies#2 ...Read More

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Two Awards for Tivic Health and Upcoming Competition

November 2019

It’s been a busy, exciting month for the Tivic Health team! Tivic Health received two awards and was also named finalist in another event.

 

CES 2020 Innovation Honoree  

This prestigious award will be presented at the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) event in Las Vegas this January.  Tivic Health is honored to be among some of the top tech innovators across multiple categories and looks forward to showcasing the ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief device.

 

2nd place in HealthTECH Startup Competition 2019 in Chicago

Tivic Health was honored with 2nd place at the seventh annual HealthTECH Startup Competition, given by Insight Product Development. Tivic Health's ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief device was among ten early-stage digital health and medical device companies who were featured at the HealthTECH Startup Competition event. CEO, Jennifer Ernst presented a live pitch at the event held in Chicago on November 14, 2019. "It was gratifying to see such meaningful medical device innovations in the competition. Thank you to our new Midwest friends Seng Weiland and Steve McPhilliamy in Chicago," said Jennifer Ernst.

Other finalists included PhotoniCare, Inc. (1st place), CareBand, InterShunt Technologies, Inc., Noleus Technologies, gaia Wearables, TheraB Medical Inc., Rockfield Medical, cliexa, and Rhaeos.

 

Finalist in MedTech Strategist Innovation Summit Conference 2019 in San Francisco

We are also heading to San Francisco to present at the MedTech Strategist Innovation Summit Conference on November 18-19.

Jennifer Ernst, CEO, will give a presentation on the successful launch of ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief, the future of the company Tivic Health and the importance of the emerging new trend of bioelectronics.

“Innovative advances in neuromodulation devices, including sensing, novel waveforms, and personalization are enhancing efficacy and accelerating the integration of neuromodulation therapies in medicine. Our team is dedicated to providing readily accessible, at-home solutions to treat chronic diseases and conditions,” said Ernst.

GO TIVIC HEALTH TEAM! ...Read More

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Tivic Health Named CES 2020 Innovation Award Honoree in Health and Fitness Category

November 2019

At the CES Unveiled event in New York City today, Tivic Health’s ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief was selected as a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Honoree.  The CES Innovation Awards recognizes companies for their innovations in engineering, design and technology.

ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief was in good company with many notable honorees including P&G, Stanley Healthcare (BLACK+DECKER™), Garmin, Omron Healthcare, among others.

ClearUP is a drug-free, non-invasive device that uses microcurrent (low-level electrical stimulation) to treat sinus pain from seasonal and year-round allergies.

The ClearUP device is an example of bioelectronic medicine, an emerging trend in healthcare, with promising results for previously untreatable medical conditions, or chronic diseases.[1]

“Our team is honored that ClearUP has been selected as a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Honoree. ClearUP’s use of drug-free, non-invasive microcurrent technology is disrupting how clinicians and consumers treat allergy-related sinus pain,” said Jennifer Ernst, CEO of Tivic Health. We are developing well-designed, accessible home-use bioelectronic medical devices for those suffering from a wide range of chronic conditions. We expect to bring more of these products to market giving millions access to health solutions that historically were treated with pharmaceuticals or even surgery.”

[1] “Why It’s Time to Take Electrified Medicine Seriously”, TIME, October 24, 2019, https://time.com/5709245/bioelectronic-medicine-treatments/ ...Read More

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Dr. Howard Levine talks “SINUS PAIN”

October 2019

This is one of our most popular posts, and we've received many positive comments - so we thought it would be helpful and informative to share this again:

By Howard Wolinsky, a healthcare blogger

Howard L. Levine, MD, an expert in nasal and sinus disorders, at the Cleveland Nasal Sinus and Sleep Center examines patients daily who often are complaining of “sinus pain.” But just because his patients think that’s the problem, it may not be the case at all. “Patients relate most things that occur in and around the face to the sinuses because people are aware of the sinuses being in the face,” observes Levine, an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist and past president of the American Rhinologic Society (ARS).

The sinuses are cavities in the bones of the face or skull connecting with nasal cavity. They produce a mucus layer that protects the nose from pollutants, micro-organisms, dust and dirt. About 15% of Americans see doctors for sinus issues, according to the American Rhinologic Society. And many others simply live with the discomfort.

In evaluating his sinus patients, Levine asks them to describe the nature of the discomfort, its severity and its location. “Individuals who have sinus problems typically describe their discomfort as pressure and congestion. Migraine sufferers, or those with cluster headaches, will say their pain is very severe and more than just pressure,” Levine says. Levine typically does not use the word “pain” unless the sinus patient specifically mentions experiencing pain. “I want them to use pain if in fact there is pain. I look for them to use the words that are more descriptive and can help differentiate the cause. I look for them to use words like pounding or steady or vise-like,” he said.

He then asks the patients to describe the severity of the discomfort on the typical 10-point pain scale. As in real estate, location, location, location is key. Location is important in diagnosing nasal problems and other kinds of head discomfort. Levine asks patients to point to the site of their discomfort or perceived sinus pain. He says some point to their noses, cheeks or brow bones while some point to their temples or the back of their heads--places where there are no sinuses.

He says once he has a history, he may use a nasal endoscope or a computed tomographic (CT) scan to examine the nose to look for physical deformities such as a deviated septum, a blockage in the nasal passage, sinus or nasal polyps that may be the source of pain and can be corrected surgically. Also, swelling of structures in the nose known as turbinates, shelf-shaped networks of bones and blood vessels, can be responsible for sinus discomfort, says Levine. Turbinates warm, humidify and filter the air. Levine says the turbinates can cause nasal obstructions and discomfort when people have a cold or allergies and when they encounter irritants.

If true sinusitis is confirmed, current treatments include several choices of medications that may include over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, decongestants in pill or spray form, nasal steroid sprays and antibiotics if a bacterial infection is found. Patients should ask their physicians and pharmacists about potential side effects from the drugs.

Levine says he has had an eye out for years for a non-drug product that can help his patient with sinus pain. “If there are non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments to help my patients and give them comfort, then I am going to inform my patients about them” he says. Levine says a product such as ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief should be safe, effective and have minimal side effects. ...Read More

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Shipping ClearUP® and Awards Update

October 2019

SHIPPING CLEARUP SINUS PAIN RELIEF TO THE PUBLIC

September was a busy month for the Tivic Health team and marked a major milestone: we began shipping ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief.  ClearUP is now available for purchase on our website and on Amazon and will be available in November at BestBuy.com, CVS.com and Walgreens.com. All customers from the Indiegogo campaign and website pre-orders received their units first and are now enjoying the sinus pain relief. Thanks for your support!

 

LAUNCHING TO PHYSICIANS

We headed to New Orleans to exhibit at the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy (AAOA) and American Rhinologic Society (ARS) Annual Meetings and met with ear, nose and throat specialists and allergist-immunologists. We received positive feedback about ClearUP - these physicians saw how a non-invasive and drug-free device can help their patients with the challenging symptom of sinus pain.

 

HEALTH 2.0 SANTA CLARA, CA FINALIST

ClearUP was one of eight finalists in the Health 2.0 Launch! competition in Santa Clara, where we presented to an audience of healthcare technology professionals. We demonstrated ClearUP and discussed the importance of bioelectronic medicine to patients with chronic conditions. While ClearUP did not win, we are appreciative of the opportunity to bring the importance of sinus pain treatment to the forefront of the healthtech community. The Tivic Health team congratulates OMNY Health – the winner of Health 2.0 Launch!

 

MEDTECH INSIGHT FINALIST

Our last stop was Boston where Tivic Health was a finalist in the MedTech Insight Awards. We were honored to be among so many distinguished companies that are driving the future of innovation in healthcare. We send our congratulations to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Thrive Earlier Detection, the winner of the most innovative team of the year! ...Read More

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Tivic Health Named a Finalist in Medtech Insight Awards Category: Most Innovative Team or Innovator of the Year

August 2019

By Jennifer Ernst, CEO, co-founder Tivic Health

The Medtech Insight Awards has named the Tivic Health team a finalist in the category, Most Innovative Team or Innovator or the Year, which recognizes the medical technology team who has made significant contributions in the device and diagnostic space.

We are truly honored to be a finalist among such distinguished companies as Johns Hopkins Thrive Earlier Detection and Sigrid Therapeutics that are driving the future of innovation in healthcare.

These awards honor companies and executives who have made significant contributions in the device and diagnostic space. Award winners will be announced at the awards dinner in Boston on September 23 that coincides with the MedTech Conference, which will take place September 23-25.

According to Christopher Delporte, editor-in-chief of Medtech Insight, “The Medtech Insight Awards not only recognize the achievements of innovative people, partnerships and organizations, but they are also an excellent opportunity to highlight the transformative work being done in the medical technology sector overall. Given the pace of product development, regulation and business in this industry, the awards finalists have all demonstrated their unique ability to navigate marketplace challenges and seize technological opportunity to improve patient care.”

Our team is committed to creating accessible solutions for chronic conditions and next month we will be bringing to market a next generation microcurrent device, ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief, which will help transform treatment for the 40-60 milliion Americans suffering from allergies.

Tivic Health is looking forward to the MedTech Awards dinner next month. Please drop me a line if you’d like to arrange a meeting in Boston. ...Read More

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Tivic Health Welcomes Sheryle Bolton, Karen Drexler and Dean Zikria to Board of Directors

August 2019

By Jennifer Ernst, CEO, co-founder Tivic Health

This month, we welcomed three new members to the Tivic Health board of directors: Sheryle Bolton, entrepreneur and former chairman and CEO of Scientific Learning Corporation; Karen Drexler, CEO and board member of Sandstone Diagnostics; and Dean Zikria former global marketing executive at Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.

These dynamic industry leaders bring a wide range of consumer health and technology experience and will help guide the growth of our company. Our team will directly benefit from their expertise, perspectives and contributions as we scale our commercial operations and develop future bioelectronic therapies. Background on our new board members is below:

Sheryle Bolton is Professor of Entrepreneurship, Hult International Business School. She is an experienced public company CEO, international board member and serial entrepreneur. As CEO and Chairman of Scientific Learning Corporation, a neuroscience technology company, she built the company from pre-product to a highly successful IPO. Previously, she was vice president at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets, and a senior executive at Home Box Office and Rockefeller and Co.

Karen Drexler is CEO and board member of Sandstone Diagnostics with extensive and operational experience building consumer health tech device companies. She founded and ran Amira Medical until its sale to Roche Diabetes Care. She managed a variety of functions across the company at LifeScan and executed the sale of the company to Johnson & Johnson. She has received 11 patents, served on numerous boards and is active in non-profits that support female entrepreneurs.

Dean Zikria brings deep industry experience in allergy and asthma to the Board. He has previously served as CEO of Spirosure, a FeNO detection company for asthma diagnostics. He has also previously served as head of global marketing for Johnson & Johnson's Animas Corporation within their medical device & diagnostics division. He was head of strategy for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals U.S. Cardiovascular Unit, a division with about $7 billion in annual revenues. ...Read More

Jennifer Ernst
THANK YOU and UPDATE FOR EARLY BACKERS!

July 2019

A big THANK YOU to our early backers for making the ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief crowd funding campaign a success!

We have nearly tripled our fundraising goal with 641 backers!

Update:

  • ClearUP is currently being manufactured.
  • We expect to have ClearUP into your hands in late September - in time for the fall allergy season.
  • ClearUP will also be available for purchase on Amazon and TivicHealth.com at that time.

 

ClearUP is a true game changer – it’s the first and only US bioelectronic device designed to alleviate allergy sinus pain. This small, handheld device delivers treatment that’s clinically proven where three out of four experienced relief and it’s FDA cleared.

The Tivic Health team is very proud to be bringing our first product to market with the support of so many that suffer from sinus pain due to allergies.

A few fast facts about ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief:

Who is it for?
Adults 18+ years old with moderate to severe allergies

What does it do?
Provides relief from allergy sinus pain using microcurrent waveforms—low-current electrical stimulation proven to relieve pain.

Is it safe and effective?
Yes, because it clinically-proven and FDA cleared.

How it is different?

  • Sinus Pain Relief without medication or chemical side effects
  • Rechargeable, reusable. Battery lasts 1-2 weeks on a single charge when used 4 times daily
  • Non-invasive and no mess.

 

How long does it last?

  • A single 5-minute treatment can last up to 6 hours
  • Remember, there’s a 1-year warranty.

 

HERE’S TO HEALTHY SINUSES!

Jennifer Ernst, CEO and Co-founder ...Read More

Blake Gurfein, PhD
Tivic Health Chief Scientific Officer, Blake Gurfein, PhD Receives Annual 40 Under 40 Award from Silicon Valley Business Journal

July 2019

The Silicon Valley Business (SVB) Journal has named Tivic Health Systems’ Chief Scientific Officer, Blake Gurfein, PhD to their annual 40 Under 40 Awards. This distinction is given to 40 business executives, entrepreneurs, nonprofit and community leaders who have made outstanding professional and humanitarian contributions, before the age of 40.

Dr. Gurfein was selected based on his vast accomplishments in the fields of bioelectronics and neuromodulation at age 35. He completed his doctorate in neuroscience at age 26, and at age 29, he ascended to the level of faculty at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), one of the preeminent research institutions in the world. Dr. Gurfein is now assistant adjunct professor of medicine at UCSF, and his research was supported by a prestigious multiyear award from the National Institutes of Health, a Mentored Research Scientist Development Award.

As a creative thinker, Dr. Gurfein was drawn to research demonstrating that devices employing electricity and magnetism could be used to generate new non-drug therapies to address inadequate treatment needs in neurology and psychiatry. Dr. Gurfein’s vision is that this class of device therapies represents a breakthrough in medicine that is already showing promise in addressing serious conditions including Parkinson’s disease, depression, chronic pain, allergic rhinitis and many others.

He has four patents pending and 12 peer-reviewed publications in prestigious journals, one of which was featured on the cover of Molecular Medicine.

Dr. Gurfein has served as the Chief Scientific Officer of two neuromodulation companies, Rio Grande Neurosciences and Tivic Health.

Moved by the homelessness epidemic in the Bay Area, Dr. Gurfein has volunteered with Community Housing Partnership (CHP) to raise awareness of their work to help homeless individuals secure housing and become self-sufficient. He also serves on CHP’s Advancement Committee, a Board of Directors sub-committee, which focuses on community outreach.

Dr. Gurfein has prioritized humanitarian activities throughout his career and has volunteered at homeless shelters and organizations including the Ivy League Connection and Habitat for Humanity. He also mentors junior scientists and aspiring entrepreneurs.

“I am honored to be among this exceptional group of executives that are making major contributions to their communities and businesses,” said Dr. Blake Gurfein. “Thank you to the SVB Journal for recognizing the important work we are doing to bring innovative, bioelectronic medical solutions to those with chronic diseases. It’s an especially exciting time because we are about to launch ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief after rigorous clinical work culminating in an FDA clearance. I’m also grateful to the Community Housing Partnership for bringing awareness to help homeless individuals secure housing and become self-sufficient.”

“Blake Gurfein has made tremendous scientific and cultural contributions at Tivic Health, in his prior work at UCSF and Rio Grande Neurosciences, and through his work with the community,” added Jennifer Ernst, CEO of Tivic Health. “The Tivic Health team is pleased to see him recognized by SVB Journal.”

View the official press release  ...Read More

Alan Goldsobel, MD
What You Need to Know as Allergy Season gets Underway

April 2019

Allergic rhinitis, also called hay fever, is a very common disorder affecting 30-40 percent of children and adults in the U.S. The basic definition of an allergy is an abnormal reaction of a part of the immune system, where common things everyone is exposed to, pollen, animal dander, dust mites, molds, etc. are recognized as “foreign” or harmful to the body – and they really aren’t!

An allergic reaction in your body may occur in the upper respiratory tract (nose/eyes/sinuses), lower respiratory tract (lungs), skin, and/or gastrointestinal tract. These are the areas of the body where we come into direct contact with our environment.

Symptoms

Symptoms from allergies that occur in the upper respiratory tract are called allergic rhinitis and although they aren’t life threatening, they can be severe in many people leading to significant morbidity and decreased quality of life. Adults miss work and children with allergic rhinitis are known to miss more days of school and perform poorly when present, especially during their worse seasonal allergies. Both children and adults with allergic rhinitis get more viral infections and sinusitis. And sleep disturbance is common in children and adults with allergic rhinitis leading to daytime tiredness and poor performance at school and work.

The typical symptoms of allergic rhinitis include nasal congestion with sinus pain and pressure, runny nose, sneezing, itchy nose and eyes. Allergic rhinitis is classified as either seasonal, due to tree, grass, and/or weed pollen exposure in the spring or fall; or perennial, due to dust mite, animal or mold allergies. In different parts of the country, spring and fall seasonal allergic rhinitis occur at different times due to different exposures and different weather patterns.

The Start of Spring Allergy Season Across the U.S.

In many parts of the country, the onset of spring allergic rhinitis is due to pollen from cedar and juniper trees and can start as early as December or January in certain warmer climates. It is particularly bad in Texas. Many other trees will pollinate from March through June.

Grass pollen causes an intense allergic reaction usually from April through July, again depending where you live in the U.S. Climate change has caused longer pollen seasons and higher levels of pollination across the country.

Treating Allergic Rhinitis

The approach to treatment for allergic rhinitis includes first, controlling one’s environment as much as possible and avoiding what you are allergic to. Second is to manage symptoms. Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, and eye drops and drug-free treatments like nasal washes are the typical course of treatment and can help relieve and manage your symptoms. Tivic Health’s ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief is a new part of the arsenal, recently cleared by the FDA to be safe and effective in treating the sinus pain associated with allergic rhinitis. Finally, if needed, one can be desensitized to what they are allergic to with regular allergy shots or vaccinations.

Alan Goldsobel, MD is a member of the Tivic Health Medical Advisory Board and a practicing physician at Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California. He’s an adjunct clinical professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, clinical professor, UCSF and past president of the California Society of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. ...Read More

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Spring is Around the Corner and so are Allergies

April 2019

It’s March and while it may be cold and snowing in parts of the US - it’s the start of allergy season in other regions. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology between 40-60 million Americans have some form of allergic rhinitis - allergies.  Allergy season has already started along the west coast and in the south. In a few weeks those in the rest of the country will begin to feel the affects of pollen along with environmental allergies such as dust, mold and pet dander.

We’ve asked some top-notch allergists and ENT physicians from around the country, who see patients suffering from seasonal allergies and other related sinus conditions, to share their knowledge about this spring's allergy season.

You’ll be hearing from Subinoy Das, MD and CEO, US Institute for Advanced Sinus Care and Research in Ohio, Alan Goldsobel, MD at, Allergy and Asthma Associates of Northern California and adjunct professor at Stanford University Medical Center and others.

Here’s to a healthy spring!

Jennifer Ernst,
CEO, Tivic Health Systems Inc. ...Read More

Dr. Su Das from our Medical Advisory Board explaining how it works at CES Eureka Park booth.
CES 2019 Highlights

February 2019

Tivic Health participated in our first CES and what a week it was! We introduced our first product, ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief, and received a lot of interest and warm welcome from consumers, health care professionals and journalists.

We are proud to report that ClearUP won two awards from leading industry news outlets: Gear Diary’s Best of CES and Techlicious’ Top Picks of CES.

...Read More

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3 OUT OF 4 SINUS PAIN SUFFERERS WITH ALLERGIC RHINITIS EXPERIENCED PAIN RELIEF – SEE CLEARUP™ AT THE CES SHOW

January 2019

CES is fast approaching and we’re looking forward to meeting with thousands of technology and medical professionals looking for the latest healthcare offerings.

For the first time, Tivic Health will be demonstrating the newly FDA cleared product ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief to the public at Sands Expo, Eureka Park, Health Section, Booth #53355.

ClearUP is a groundbreaking product for sinus pain for allergic rhinitis sufferers that was successfully tested with consumers in a double-blinded. Randomized Control Trial at a top-tier US science research center. The results were presented this fall at the American Rhinologic Society’s (ARS) Annual Meeting in Atlanta. The study included patients with Allergic rhinitis, Chronic Rhinosinusitis and other sinus pain causes. Overall results were:

  • 3 out of 4 who used ClearUP experienced a reduction in sinus pain
  • Patients treated with Tivic Health’s microcurrent ClearUP device experienced an average pain reduction of 30 percent
  • 82 percent preferred ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief device to their current sinus treatment(s).

In May 2018, recent third-party market research with 600 sinus sufferers has also revealed that sinus sufferers tend to use pills (75%) and prescription nose sprays (60%). However, 91% of them are concerned about taking too much medicine and 66% concerned about side effects.  ClearUP is an ideal option because it is drug-free, has no known side effects and is reusable for anytime, anywhere treatments.

Tivic Health is part of the emerging Bioelectronics industry. In fact, this fall the World Economic Forum named bioelectronics or “electroceuticals” as one of the top 10 disruptive technologies poised to change medical treatment.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas! ...Read More

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Tivic team heads to CES 2019!

December 2018

Tivic Health staff is excited to be exhibiting and demonstrating the ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief device at the largest electronics show in the world, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas Jan 8-11, 2019. ClearUP™ Sinus Pain Relief is the first bioelectronic treatment that relieves sinus pain for the 40-60 million allergic rhinitis sinus sufferers in the US. This includes any adult with seasonal allergies like dust, mold, and pollen or year-round allergies like mold, cleaning products or pet dander.

The Tivic Health team will be - Jennifer Ernst, CEO; Maureen Perou, VP, Marketing; Blake Gurfein, PhD, VP, Research and Scientific Affairs; and Chandra Durisety, VP, Manufacturing. Dr. Subinoy Das, a member of the Tivic Health Medical Advisory Board and CEO of US Institute Advanced Sinus Care and Research, will join us in Eureka Park.

ClearUP harnesses the power of bioelectronic technology into a simple, non-invasive, home device for use by consumers suffering from allergy-related sinus pain. ClearUp features a one-button control and three intensity levels for quick five-minute treatments. It’s portable for use at home, work or travel and rechargeable.

We hope to see you at CES, January 8-11, booth 53355 at the Sands Expo, Eureka Park, Health Section. If you are a journalist please stop by and see us at CES Unveiled on January 6 (invite only). ...Read More

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Dr. Howard Levine talks “SINUS PAIN”

September 2018

By Howard Wolinsky, a healthcare blogger

Howard L. Levine, MD, an expert in nasal and sinus disorders, at the Cleveland Nasal Sinus and Sleep Center examines patients daily who often are complaining of “sinus pain.” But just because his patients think that’s the problem, it may not be the case at all. “Patients relate most things that occur in and around the face to the sinuses because people are aware of the sinuses being in the face,” observes Levine, an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist and past president of the American Rhinologic Society (ARS).

The sinuses are cavities in the bones of the face or skull connecting with nasal cavity. They produce a mucus layer that protects the nose from pollutants, micro-organisms, dust and dirt. About 15% of Americans see doctors for sinus issues, according to the American Rhinologic Society. And many others simply live with the discomfort.

In evaluating his sinus patients, Levine asks them to describe the nature of the discomfort, its severity and its location. “Individuals who have sinus problems typically describe their discomfort as pressure and congestion. Migraine sufferers, or those with cluster headaches, will say their pain is very severe and more than just pressure,” Levine says. Levine typically does not use the word “pain” unless the sinus patient specifically mentions experiencing pain. “I want them to use pain if in fact there is pain. I look for them to use the words that are more descriptive and can help differentiate the cause. I look for them to use words like pounding or steady or vise-like,” he said.

He then asks the patients to describe the severity of the discomfort on the typical 10-point pain scale. As in real estate, location, location, location is key. Location is important in diagnosing nasal problems and other kinds of head discomfort. Levine asks patients to point to the site of their discomfort or perceived sinus pain. He says some point to their noses, cheeks or brow bones while some point to their temples or the back of their heads--places where there are no sinuses.

He says once he has a history, he may use a nasal endoscope or a computed tomographic (CT) scan to examine the nose to look for physical deformities such as a deviated septum, a blockage in the nasal passage, sinus or nasal polyps that may be the source of pain and can be corrected surgically. Also, swelling of structures in the nose known as turbinates, shelf-shaped networks of bones and blood vessels, can be responsible for sinus discomfort, says Levine. Turbinates warm, humidify and filter the air. Levine says the turbinates can cause nasal obstructions and discomfort when people have a cold or allergies and when they encounter irritants.

If true sinusitis is confirmed, current treatments include several choices of medications that may include over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, decongestants in pill or spray form, nasal steroid sprays and antibiotics if a bacterial infection is found. Patients should ask their physicians and pharmacists about potential side effects from the drugs.

Levine says he has had an eye out for years for a non-drug product that can help his patient with sinus pain. “If there are non-invasive or minimally invasive treatments to help my patients and give them comfort, then I am going to inform my patients about them” he says. Levine says a product such as ClearUP Sinus Pain Relief should be safe, effective and have minimal side effects. ...Read More

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