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Inventor’s Story

A Word from Martin Hoke, the Inventor of Naväge   

 

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According to the US Centers for Disease Control, about 50 million people in North America suffer from chronic sinusitis, and I used to be one of them. When I came down with my fifth sinus infection of the 2006-07 winter, I was very discouraged. I was also desperate enough to try just about anything, because to be sure, the antibiotics I used the first four times had not solved the problem.

So when a good friend suggested that sniffing salt water into my nose would provide immediate relief, rather than thinking that sounded ridiculous and wondering if I'd drown, I mixed some salt water and started sniffing.


And it worked! In a matter of moments I was breathing more clearly than I had in months, even years. So I kept doing it, a couple of times a day. Amazingly,
I stopped getting colds. I stopped getting sinus infections. I slept deeper. I snored less (a LOT less), and I even stopped picking my nose (sorry - I know that's gross, but it's true)!


I was so impressed that something as simple as flushing salt water through my nasal passages could be so effective and help relieve such a broad spectrum of problems. (And little did I know just how broad that spectrum would turn out to be.) On the other hand, it certainly makes sense that improved nose-breathing would have a positive impact on a lot of levels. In any event, I was intrigued enough to learn more about this thing called saline nasal irrigation.


The first thing I learned is that nasal irrigation has been around for a long time. (Click here for a cool history of nasal irrigation.) The neti pot, a gravity-based device for pouring saline into one nostril and out the other, was first described in India over 500 years ago and was likely invented many centuries before that. In 2005, Dr. Oz introduced the neti pot to Oprah Winfrey and millions of her friends all over the world. 

Today, the neti pot has been joined by dozens of commercially available nasal irrigation devices that rely on positive pressure generated by squeezing a plastic bottle to push saline into the nasal cavity. While this technique is effective, it's also fairly primitive, and it's off-putting for many. Because the irrigant pours out the nose as it exits, you've got to stand over a sink if you don't want to make a mess of things. 

In January 2007, inspired by my incredibly positive personal experience with the benefits of nasal irrigation, I began thinking about how to build a better mousetrap.

 
The Aha Moment 

Various Navage Protypes through the yearsAt about four o'clock on Sunday morning, February 18, 2007, I hopped out of bed, went into the living room, sat in my favorite chair, and dove into thinking about how to make nasal irrigation easier and more user friendly. And then it just hit me - a eureka moment of genuine insight that until then I'd only read about in novels and seen in the movies. 

Powered suction! 

In a flash (really), I realized that for nose-rinsing to be more effective, convenient, and easy to use, the rinse would have to be pulled through the nose, not pushed, and that this could be achieved by applying powered suction at the nostril through which the saline exits. In short, pull don't push; apply suction not pressure; use a vacuum not a broom!

Naväge Nasal Care was born out of that simple idea. Of course it turned out to be anything but simple to actually create. Thus began several years of hard work, endless prototypes, and tests, tests, and more tests that were required to transform the intangible to the tangible. Its fulfillment is the extraordinary work of a talented team of doctors, designers, and engineers who persevered to the finish line. And now it's available for everyone, so that you too can breathe better now, and breathe better forever! You'll love that clean nose feeling!