Patients who use nasal steroid sprays for allergies or asthma may be at a lower risk for severe COVID-19 symptoms, a recent study finds.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic analyzed data from Covid patients in the healthcare system, comparing outcomes for those who did and did not use a nasal steroid spray.
The patients who used nasal sprays were 22 percent less likely to be hospitalized for severe Covid.
They were also 23 percent less likely to require intensive care, and 24 percent less likely to die from the virus.
The research offers insight into how protein receptors in the nose may be involved with disease severity, and suggests that nasal sprays may be a potential Covid treatment.
'This study shows the importance of the nose in Covid infection,' one of the lead researchers said.
People who use nasal steroid sprays - for allergies, asthma, or other similar conditions - may be at a lower risk for severe Covid cases, a new study finds
Patients who used nasal steroid sprays were 22% less likely to be hospitalized with Covid, 23% less likely to require ICU care, and 24% less likely to die in the hospital
In studying Covid for the past year and a half, many researchers have found that a protein receptor called ACE2 is particularly important.
This receptor is found on a variety of different cells in the human body, ranging from inside the nose to deep in the digestive system.
When the coronavirus encounters an ACE2 receptor, it binds to this piece of protein - and uses the receptor to enter the cell.
Some studies have suggested that ACE2 receptors in the nose are particularly crucial in facilitating the coronavirus' travel to other parts of the body.
When a Covid patient has more ACE2 receptor activity in their nose, this can lead to increased severity for Covid.
Dr Ronald Strauss, an allergist and immunologist in Cleveland, noticed this connection.
He wondered if steroid drugs that suppress ACE2 activity in the nose would help protect patients against severe Covid.
These drugs are sprayed in the nose to relieve allergies, asthma, and other nasal conditions.
To test his hypothesis, Strauss set up a study with the Cleveland Clinic - an academic medical center in Cleveland, Ohio.
The study was published in August in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.
Strauss and other