Hayfever solutions + a great drug free giveaway!

June 9, 2012 by
UPDATED: Read the update >   Blog, Health   1 Comment

Next time you drive past one of those glorious fields of yellow rape, spare a thought for hayfever sufferers.

British farmers are growing 10 per cent more rapeseed this summer in response to increased global demand for oil seeds, particularly for use in cooking. And celebrating increased prices as a result of frosts in other parts of Europe which destroyed crops. But according to Allergy UK, rapeseed pollen can trigger allergies and hay fever – as can the chemicals released when the crops are in abundance. Sensitive airways are irritated and symptoms made worse for those with respiratory conditions such as asthma and hay fever if they are close to a rapeseed field. The charity recommends hay fever and asthma sufferers keep car windows closed when passing a field where rapeseed is flowering.

Hayfever affects around 18 million people in the UK each year – symptoms include constant sneezing, blocked or runny nose, headaches and itchy eyes.

If this sounds like you, NHS Choices recommends you try Over The Counter (OTC) remedies before seeing the GP. In either case, solutions include:

Antihistamines: These treat hay fever by blocking the action of the chemical histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it is under attack from an allergen. This prevents the symptoms of the allergic reaction from occurring

Corticosteroid nasal sprays and drops: These reduce nasal inflammation and prevent the symptoms of hay fever; these may be suitable instead of antihistamines if  you have persistent hay fever that does not respond to antihistamines; your main symptom is a blocked nose; you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Corticosteroids tablets: Good for rapid short-term relief from severe symptoms (for example if you had an exam or driving test coming up)

Nasal decongestants: Decongestants reduce the swelling of the blood vessels in your nose, which opens your nasal passage and makes breathing easier.

Eye drops: Available from your pharmacist, these drops contain antihistamine to reduce the inflammation in your eyes, which will relieve the symptoms.

Immunotherapy: If you have persistent hay fever symptoms which are not relieved by the above treatments, your GP may refer you for immunotherapy treatment. This involves gradually introducing you to small amounts of the allergen (the substance that you are allergic to), such as pollen, and monitoring your allergic reaction.

New drug free hayfever solution?

The latest product on the market is a drug-free nasal spray called Care Allergy Defence. A  unique powder spray reacts with the moisture within the nose to create an invisible thin, protective gel barrier which blocks allergens such as pollen from entering the nasal tract. This stops the body’s defence system from releasing histamine so symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy eyes can often be avoided altogether. Manufacturers claim effects are long-lasting and even three hours after use, in trials, Care Allergy Defence was shown to prevent up to 86 per cent of allergens from passing through the barrier. Further small clinical trials have shown that unlike antihistamines, the natural treatment can stop a sneezing fit in minutes, and sometimes even in seconds.

A South African review found that although published literature is too limited and the study outcomes are too varied to conduct a thorough meta-analysis, the powder spray represented a reasonable management strategy in the control and management of allergic rhinitis; ‘one that is natural and safe, does not contain any drugs and has shown itself to be effective under trial conditions (albeit small studies)’.

As it is a natural inert cellulose powder and not absorbed by the body, Care Allergy Defence can be used by children as young as 18 months, as well as by pregnant and breastfeeding women and people on medication. One of the experts involved in trials, Professor Jean Emberlin, a director of AllergyUK  Research Ltd, says: ‘While most commonly available hayfever treatments work by alleviating symptoms caused once the pollen allergen has entered the body, Care Allergy Defence helps stop the allergic reaction by preventing allergens entering in the first place.’

Care Allergy Defence 500mg (for 200 sprays), at £7.14,  is available from Boots, Sainsbury’sPharmacy and Morrison’s. Click here for further information.

SATURDAY GIVEAWAY! Under the Scope has five CARE ALLERGY DEFENCE sprays to give away! Follow @underthescope and tweet a link to this story (and a hayfever tip if you have one), and five followers will be chosen at random next Wednesday to receive a free spray. Good luck.

 


 

Congratulations to the winners: @swingsandpretty @BigFashionista @TEAMJDPT @hoops120 @LesleyaDobson


 

About the Author

Victoria Lambert has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and specialises in health and medical matters. She writes for the Telegraph, the Times, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, the Mail and the Mail on Sunday. She contributes to Saga, Geographical and First Eleven magazines – where she is the agony aunt.

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One Comment on "Hayfever solutions + a great drug free giveaway!"

  1. Max Wiseberg June 15, 2012 at 4:55 pm · Reply

    Nice article! And I know Care Allergy Defence is a good product. But there are other drug free options too. Of course i would be bound to mention our own HayMax pollen barrier balms, but there are also Qu-Chi acupressure bands, Prevalin nasal spray and many more. Quercetin complex tablets are an interesting one. They contain Quercetin (a natural anti-histamine found in red onions, apples and broccoli) and bromelain (found in pineapples) which helps the body absorb the quercetin. So this (it just occurs to me whilst writing) is always referred to as a drug free alternative. But is it really? Is a natural anti-histamine less likely to make you drowsy? Sorry – i have gone off on a tangent here – but it is an interesting question which I don’t ever remember seeing asked before. I am sure I am not the first to notice this. I am going to go away and research it.
    Thanks again for a good article. Sorry about the ramble!

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