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Inventor’s Story

A Word from Martin Hoke, the Inventor of Naväge

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, about 50 million people in North America suffer from chronic sinusitis. If you're one of them, then you know how discouraging this can be. When I came down with my fifth sinus infection of the 2006-'07 winter, it certainly discouraged me. I was also desperate enough to try just about anything, because clearly, the antibiotics I used the first four times hadn't gotten the job done.

So when a good friend suggested that sniffing a cup of salt water into my nose would go a long way toward fixing me, rather than thinking that sounded ridiculous and wondering if I'd drown, I mixed some salt water and started sniffing.

It worked! In a matter of minutes I was breathing more clearly than I had in months, even years, so I kept at it. Amazingly, I stopped getting colds, I stopped getting sinus infections, I slept deeper, I snored less (a LOT less), and that nasty habit that cannot be named (nose-picking) spontaneously ceased - forever.

I was 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.
On the other hand, it certainly makes sense that improved breathing would have a positive impact on many issues. In any event, I was sufficiently intrigued that I wanted to learn more about this thing called saline nasal irrigation.

The first thing I learned is that nasal irrigation has been around a very long time. The neti pot, a gravity-based device for pouring saline into one nostril and out the other was first described in written records in India over 500 years ago, and was likely invented many centuries before that. In 2005, Dr. Mehmet 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 other commercially available devices for performing nasal irrigation. Most of these rely on pressure generated by squeezing a plastic bottle to push saline into the nasal cavity. While this technology is effective, it's also fairly primitive, and it's off-putting for many. And because the irrigant pours out your nose as it exits, you've got to stand over a sink if you don't want to make a mess of things. (Besides, you don't get to see what came out!)

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

Aha Moment

At about four o'clock on Sunday morning, February 18, 2007, I awoke abruptly, not likely to fall back to sleep. I got up, went into the living room, sat in my favorite chair, and dove into deep thought about nasal irrigation and how to create a superior delivery system for it. And then it just hit me - a eureka moment of genuine insight that you read about in novels and see in movies (yes - that can really happen!).
In a flash, I realized that for nose rinsing to be comfortable, simple, and convenient, that is, for it to be easy and accessible for just about everyone, the rinse should be pulled through the nose, not pushed through it. And that this could be easily 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! It's that simple.

Naväge Nasal Care was born out of that idea, and thus began the hard work required to transform the intangible to the tangible. The idea was singular, but 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!

Man and woman holding hands and jumping in the air happily

About RhinoSystems, Inc.

RhinoSystems, Inc. (RSI) is the developer of Naväge® Nasal Care, the world's only nasal irrigator with gentle powered suction. Founded in 2007, RSI has been granted over 50 issued patents worldwide and numerous trademarks. RSI is headquartered in Brooklyn Heights, Ohio.

RhinoSystems is committed to maintaining the highest quality standards so that our products meet the needs of our customers and the expectations of our stakeholders. RSI is certified to ISO 13485:2003, the internationally recognized standard for medical device manufacturing.

Phone (216) 351-6262