It’s that time of year again. Like many people, even though the weather is scorching hot – I’m keeping the Windows closed in the house and when I drive the car. I’m popping tablets and stuffing decongestants up my nose. I’m sneezing and wheezing, or walking around like the Living Dead. In short, it’s Hayfever season.
Hayfever affects 20% of the population in the U.K, and I’ve suffered with it personally since I was very small. One of my earliest memories of Hayfever was as a child, gleefully rolling down a local grass hill with a friend. Trouble was, the grass was freshly cut and when I returned home covered in allergic reactions and with eyes swelled shut, my Dad thought I’d been in a car crash!
It’s affected me pretty badly this year. Over the past few weeks I’ve had a straight choice between a runny nose, sneezing and wheezing – or taking a Antihistamine tablet and being turned into a Zombie. Non-Drowsy? Yeah right!
So two new treatments that have popped up this year have intrigued me.
The first is Medinose. It’s a small battery powered device with two prongs on a cable that you place up your nose. You then press a button and the device delivers four minutes of red light that is meant to condition your nasal membranes to inhibit the release of Histamines – which cause Hay-fever. Do you look ridiculous using it? Yes. If it works do I care? No. I’ve been using the Medinose for about a week now and have noticed an improvement in my condition. What’s more I enjoy the excuse to lie down for four minutes three times a day, shove the thing up my nose and use the time to contemplate the universe. Antihistamine Meditation you might say!
The second treatment made the front page of The Independent newspaper today. It is called Grazax and it’s a pill developed in Denmark that is taken once per day to dissolve under the tongue. Unlike other medicines, it doesn’t treat the symptoms of Hayfever, rather it neutralises the cause – your bodies over-reaction to pollen. Clinical trials have shown it reduces symptoms by 36% in it’s second year of use. A cure for Hayfever? Possibly. The only downside is the NHS in the UK won’t take it on-board because of it’s potential cost. With over one million seriously affected Hayfever suffers in Great Britain – that’s a bill big enough to make your eyes water without needing any pollen!
So for the time I’ll continue to check out web-sites like Allergy UK, take advantage of Benadryl’s SMS Pollen Alerts service to warn me of impending doom, and continue to shove space age probes up my nose! 🙂