Most of us who suffer with seasonal rhinitis, or seasonal allergies, are aware of the basic advice: stay indoors, get a filter, avoid allergens. But already, there are longer-lasting remedies which have shown great promise in a series of recent clinical studies.
Researchers in Poland took a cohort of baby boomer patients and delivered allergy shots to some, placebos to the rest. The resulting decrease in allergic symptoms among the non-placebo group was striking:
For the study, published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, researchers recruited 60 patients between the ages of 65 and 75 with seasonal allergic rhinitis and grass pollen allergy. Of the participants, 33 were given specific subcutaneous immunotherapy, or allergy shots, and 27 received a placebo for three years, while have symptoms monitored and tracking each use of other anti-allergy medications.
After three years, patients receiving allergy shots saw their symptoms go down by 55 percent and use of medication drop by 64 percent. Patients given a placebo did not report a significant change in symptoms or use of allergy medication, the researchers reported.
This is good news for allergy sufferers who cannot live in a bubble and do not relish the thought of taking sleep-inducing OTC medications on a weekly basis for decades to come. The shots are far more persistent and effective, and so far seem to come without all those nasty side effects.
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