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  • I take my nasal spray all year because I am allergic to dust and animal hair too. I only need tablets for the summer though...

    I find it really interesting how different people get on better with one drug or another, or various combinations. It’s the interaction of individual genetics and the different spectrum of allergens in different areas. As with every area of medicine, there is no one size fits all, and it’s always a question of trial and error. It annoys me that many (most) doctors don’t admit that there are things they don’t know.

    Doesn’t change the utter torture of peak hayfever season - hope everyone is coping ok!

  • Any thoughts on the nettle theory?

  • Your advice is genuinely useful. If you're like me and have spent years flitting between tablets without ever really giving them much of a chance, it helps to be set straight on the basic principles.

    Promethazine is working well for me at the moment. I'd have been fucked on a day like today otherwise.

    I still need reminding that I have hayfever. I thought I was coming down with a virus early last week for a few days because I felt so rough.

  • If it works for you, that’s great, but I won’t be trying it.

    Nettle stings contain histamine and other active amines like serotonin and choline, which are injected very superficially into the skin. The effect is very local and no histamine from the stings is absorbed into the bloodstream, otherwise the reaction to a nettle sting would be much more severe. The itching and weal from a nettle sting, with a raised white centre surrounded by redness, is caused by the histamine.

    Histamine is also a mediator of allergy, it is released from some types of white blood cell in response to allergens. In hayfever it is released from cells in the nose and eye and contributes to the redness, swelling and increase in secretions. Again, this is a very localised effect. Antihistamine medicines block the effect of histamine on nearby tissues and reduce this reaction. In more severe allergies, the release of large amounts of histamine and other substances into the bloodstream is what causes anaphylaxis, which causes dilation of blood vessels leading to circulatory collapse, as well as bronchospasm (constriction of airways) and other effects. In systemic allergy the same weals, also called hives or urticaria, are sometimes seen on the skin. This is a result of systemic release of histamine causing a skin reaction at a site remote from the causative allergen.

    So, if nettle stings had an appreciable systemic effect, you might expect to see low blood pressure, wheezing etc. and urticaria at sites away from the sting. You don’t see this because the local dose from a nettle sting is so tiny.

    As far as I can understand the only connection between the two processes is the involvement of histamine. I don’t see how there is any plausible way that a very tiny, local dose of histamine on the skin from a nettle sting could have any prolonged effect on tissues at other sites in the body ie. nose and eyes. And if it did have a systemic effect, you would see a worsening of hayfever symptoms, not an improvement. It’s not at all like a vaccine, in which a systemic dose of a pathogen causes the production of antibodies. Adaptive immunity, the process of antibody production, is not involved in allergy. The mechanism is entirely different.

    I’ve done a bit of reading around the idea this evening, and have seen a few tabloid stories but no serious explanation of why it might work.

    However, if it works for some people, that’s very interesting, and there may be another process occurring that we don’t know about. The placebo effect may be playing a part. A few nettle stings won’t do any serious harm anyway, so why not give it a try? I’m not convinced though!

  • Very thorough response, thanks!

    I used to be wiped out for months by it, now I get a few bad days a year. This began since doing more trail runs on paths that are nettle heavy around 2016 & now allotment work too amongst nettles so get regular stings.

    I guess most likely maybe it is simply correlation or placebo, not direct cause but whilst something or nothing about is effective either way I'll stick with it.

  • That’s really interesting, as you say possibly correlation or placebo, but maybe there is something else going on.

    Another fascinating thing about allergies is how they change over time. Many allergies are worse in childhood and improve, or disappear, during adolescence. The opposite also happens and people can develop allergies in young adulthood or middle age, sometimes mild like hayfever but also life threatening allergies to food or drugs. We don’t know why this happens. There are also almost unbelievable phenomena such as people becoming allergic to red meat after being bitten by a type of tick. There’s a huge amount in medicine that we don’t understand at all.

  • There’s a huge amount in medicine that we don’t understand at all.

    That's why we should all just stick to crystals and reiki.

  • Conversely I've been doing a lot more off-road riding than I would normally (and getting enough nettle stings that my shins still tingle a few days later), and my hayfever is worse than it has ever been. Suspect there's pretty good correlation between razzing around in the undergrowth, and kicking up pollen into my sinuses. But I'm now going to promote that nettles cause hayfever. KILL ALL THE NETTLES!

  • Went to chemist for Disloratadine but it’s prescription only so got normy Loratadine.

  • Was on Desloratidine as I found Loratidine too sedating.
    There's also Levocetirizine
    Now back on Telfast 120

  • Today I will be sticking this snake oil contraption up my snoz as things have taken a turn for the worse. Probably a waste of £20 but the steroid sprays make me wake up in the night with hammer horrer-esqe nosebleeds.

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  • Today I will be sticking this snake oil contraption up my snoz as things have taken a turn for the worse. Probably a waste of £20 but the steroid sprays make me wake up in the night with hammer horrer-esqe nosebleeds.

    Bought one too. Though getting to the point of buying one of those coincided with using nose sprays, fexofenadine, nasal rinse and eye drops, so I suspect the snake oil red light will be doing next to nothing and the rest of the regime will be responsible for any improvements.

    Maybe I'll double up with homeopathic nasal rinse to get extra magic effect

  • did this work at all?

  • Hard to say, like @duncs I changed antihistamine at the same time which I think has been more effective. It certainly wasn’t a profound improvement and I’m still prone to the odd sneeze fit and resulting nose blow routine at 3 am which makes my wife want to stab me.

  • Okay, thanks?! Yeah that's the issue. I've taken so many things in different combos and quantities, who knows what works. Whenever I think I've cracked it, it's probably just a low pollen day.

    Was asking because Sunday was prob the worst I've ever had it, totally debilitating, and Im in the sticks at the moment with lloyds being the closest and only option.

    Was on Piriton and Cetirizine. Have added Loratidine, and Beconase to the mix and that seems to be doing something; I don't feel like death anymore.

    Cheers anyway

  • My Dad sent me this today, actually quite a good article I thought. Simple stuff but I often find I lose sight of the basics when really struggling.


  • Any way of getting past the paywall for that?

  • Fuck me. I want to sandpaper my eyes. I often have a few bad days in Feb as the crocuses appear, but today is on another level.

  • I'm the same. Have been dosing for a week or so but still feeling it. Whole body feels inflamed and on edge. I'm lucky it's just plane and birch pollen that really gets me, so I'm usually done by the end of March. Though fucking climate change is screwing with the pollen seasons, so they're getting longer every year apparently.

  • Yes, same here. Nose streaming, sneezing. Stupid nature.

  • Grade it all and turn it into parking.

  • Motherfucker. Already? Twiggy birch pollen spaffing cunts.

  • Another sandpaper eyes day. 45mph gusts, cold & grey does not feel like hayfever conditions.

    Sorry to hear other experiencing similar too, let's hope this is the bad patch and the summer pollen is less allergenic.

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Posted by Avatar for Todd @Todd