Hayfever: Stopped by a Red Light

Coinciding with the grass pollen season, every year since the age of 7 or 8 hayfever has been an unwelcome constant of the British summer – more predictable than the weather but never good :). Antihistamines help but it’s no miracle cure.

I get the full range of symptoms so I’ve tried pretty much everything. I’ve therefore learnt to treat complimentary or ‘alternative’ treatments with some skepticism since most seem to make little difference. However, this year it’s been different. At the end of last summer I came across a new treatment, which actually seems to work, and work well.

It uses red light to desensitize the nasal passages, thereby inhibiting the allergic reaction and hence reducing irritation. I got it from my local chemist for the princely sum of £15. Used for 4 minutes morning and night it almost completely relieves my symptoms so for the first time in 40 years I’ve had a summer without antihistamines.

Hayfever reliever

Hayfever reliever

It’s made possible by the availability of high brightness red LEDs. Yet another example of how LEDs are changing our world. We’re familiar with the thermal challenges of using LEDs for lighting purposes, particularly as replacements in existing light fittings where heat previously lost by radiation now has to be removed from the luminaire by convection. If you’re interested in thermal design of LEDs you can check out a recent web seminar on this by Paul Rose and myself here.

Since I’ve ventured to provide medical advice I’m going to sign off with the ‘rap name’ my colleagues bestowed upon me due to my recently spending a lot of time with headphones on to check the recording of the presentation…

Till next time,

Dr. J, Hampton Court

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Posted August 10th, 2009, by

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A mixed bag of things that interest me professionally -CFD technology and its use in education, cooling technologies and the place of thermal design in the overall design flow. John Parry’s Blog


3 comments on this post | ↓ Add Your Own

Commented on August 13, 2009 at 1:07 am
By Boris Marovic

Hi John,
I have the same problem, but fortunately just about 2-3 weeks in the year. As long as I don’t run through the grass fields I’m pretty much OK except a little sneezing and running nose.
But I wonder if the back of your throat is glowing red if you plug them in :-) Must be funny in the dark, especially on Halloween :-)

Commented on August 13, 2009 at 1:34 am
By John Parry

Christmas not Halloween. It would make Rudolph very jealous!

Commented on March 24, 2010 at 10:19 am
By Sticking Plaster and Light beats Skin Cancer « John Parry’s Blog

[…] year I posted about a light therapy device that desensitizes the nasal passages, inhibiting the allergic reaction and reducing irritation […]

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