Sufferers from pollen allergies may be able to reduce their problems without the side effects of drugs, using a new pollen-blocking cream.
A German product (Dr.Theiss Alergol pollen-blocker cream, Phyt-Immun GmbH, Homburg, Germany) has been found effective by a Russian team in a well-designed, if not enormous, trial.
Trying the cream for nine days, half a group of 90 patients, who had all had at least two years of allergic rhinitis, found that their symptoms fell by almost 60 per cent. The rest of the group, who were using an identical-seeming but ‘pretend’ cream, did not improve. When the two groups were swapped over, again the patients given the ‘real’ cream felt far fewer allergic rhinitis symptoms Those giving the treatment did not know when they were giving ‘real’ or placebo treatment until after the study was over.
The ointment, with a similar base to Vaseline, is smeared on the nose opening four times a day. The extra ingredient is finely powdered, inert cellulose.
Click here for more research on possible treatments for hay fever
First Published in Febuary 2004
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