Every year it’s the same.
For one glorious moment it’s spring! The sun is out! It’s getting warmer!
But then comes the inevitable, the moment were you think ‘am getting a cold?’ and realise that no, it’s not a cold. Your hayfever is back.
According to the NHS, hayfever symptoms include:
- sneezing and coughing
- a runny or blocked nose
- itchy, red or watery eyes
- itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- loss of smell
- pain around your temples and forehead
- feeling tired
So a hayfever injection to prevent symptoms, sounds almost too good to be true.
The jab works by injecting kenalog into the body, which reduces the body’s inflammatory and allergic reactions. It was prescribed on the NHS until around ten years ago, but is no longer prescribed.
Medical opinions on the efficacy of kenalog are split. Amena Warner, head of Clinical Services for Allergy UK, spoke out against the treatment saying: ‘In some people it will work well. The danger is, if you inject it you can’t remove it from your body. It is an injection of a steroid. Side-effects can be horrific and have been linked to osteoporosis.’
However Dr Seth Rankin, who founded the London Doctor’s Clinic said: ‘In a nutshell – the injection is faster and more convenient than the tablets, but if you’re unlucky enough to suffer side effects, you’ll be stuck with them for longer.
‘To be clear, many of the more severe side effects of steroids come from the use of very high doses over a long period of time.
‘The hayfever injection contains a relatively low dose and carries a much lower risk of adverse side effects.’
We send our tester, a 38-year-old hayfever sufferer, off to have the jab last spring at the London Doctor’s Clinic (fully ware that some people don’t react well to kenalog injections), and then had him keep tabs on his symptoms through the spring and summer.
Here’s what he had to say:
‘I have suffered from apocalyptic hayfever since I was a child, and, while it’s never going to kill me, it is a tremendous inconvenience. I’ve never sat an exam on a decent night’s sleep. I’ve had to give outdoor events a miss because at its worst, I can barely see or speak.
‘I have spent a fortune on pills, eyedrops, and tissues. I can also tell you that sneezing while driving around a roundabout is terrifying.
‘The jab, however, gave me the first symptom-free summer I have ever had and is the only treatment I have ever come across that completely eliminates the problem. I cannot recommend it enough, and I wish it was available on the NHS, because I am sure it would work out cheaper than the prescriptions.
‘As a result of the jab, I don’t have to carry tissues everywhere, I don’t have to appear in meetings with red eyes and a running nose, I can have a decent night’s sleep, and I can enjoy the summer outside like everyone else. It’s a life-changer for hayfever sufferers, and there are more and more of us every year, because some people are now developing it in later life.’
The NHS says that the best way to manage your hayfever is to:
- put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
- wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting into your eyes
- shower and change your clothes after you’ve been outside to wash pollen off
- stay indoors whenever possible
- keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
- vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth
- buy a pollen filter for the air vents in your car and a vacuum cleaner with a special HEPA filter
The jab costs £89 at the London Doctor’s Clinic.
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