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Allergen immunotherapy

(10 Posts)
MaximumVolume Mon 24-Apr-17 11:22:03

Has anyone had experience of immunotherapy for severe hay fever? DH has terrible hay fever, his life is really affected for about 4 of the year.

He currently takes the strongest prescribed antihistamine that the doctor will give. He also takes a complex of B vitamins, which are supposed to help and has mast-cell stabilizer eye drops.

I suspect he has birch-pollen oral allergy syndrome as he increasingly (over last 10 years) has more & more raw fruit & veg cause mouth tingling as well as nuts. Even handling raw, peeled potatoes causes a massive reaction to his face.

The dietary issues he navigates around, but the hay fever is debilitating. 2 separate Gps have been dismissive. I stupidly told him to ask about immunotherapy (Cochrane review recommends for cases like his) & GP apparently laughed at him. Wouldn't even suggest a private route.

Can immunotherapy deal with a seemingly complex portfolio of allergies?

Is it ever available on the NHS?

Any guesses as to the cost of a private treatment?

canteatcustard Mon 24-Apr-17 22:27:04

No nhs for tree pollen allergy.
yes for hay fever.

private is only way forward for tree pollen treatment.

MaximumVolume Tue 25-Apr-17 06:35:47

Thanks @canteatcustard do you have experience of this? Can you givea recommendation?

I'm surprised tree pollen allergy is not a subset of hay fever.

canteatcustard Tue 25-Apr-17 11:01:27

As my son only has mild hay fever he has not had any treatment.
Offered treatment for hay fever, but both we and doc agreed that tree pollen was worse and hay fever can be managed with current treatments.
We dont have private medical insurance.
Am aware other countries still have 'shot' injection type treatments, but these have been removed from NHS for safety reasons.
Has your husband been referred to see an immunologist? As this would be the first step to see if this treatment is the right option.

MaximumVolume Tue 25-Apr-17 13:08:59

No, he hasn't been referred. I work in medical research, looked up the treatment & suggested he mention it to GP, but as I mentioned, she laughed out loud at him & told him to stay indoors. hmm

canteatcustard Tue 25-Apr-17 17:51:35

I know people who have been admitted to hospital with severe hay fever!
It isnt fun, and can seriously impact normal life!
That's terrible!

MaximumVolume Tue 25-Apr-17 19:37:54

I'll get him to see a different doc. There are a couple in our practice who are 2 days GP & 3 days research at our local Med School. Maybe one of them will be less jaded!

JimWithTwoNoses Wed 26-Apr-17 22:24:59

That's awful. Hay fever can be so awful, being told to stay indoors is such an idiotic thing to say from someone who should know better.
I saw something about hay fever immunotherapy on Allergy Uk or the anaphylaxis campaign I think. Worth checking their websites. There was a study to see if two years of treatment was just as good as three, but it turned out you do need three for it to be more successful. It's only used in severe cases I think, where normal antihistamines don't work. Sounds like your DH would fit this catagory. No idea if available on NHS, could you phone up bupa or spire and ask if they know any specialists who offer it in your area?

Penfold007 Wed 26-Apr-17 22:42:08

DD had oral immunotherapy as part of an NHS drug trial. She and I both ger debilitating hay fever and have multiple allergies including birch pollen. We both carry epipens. She didn't get referred until she ended up in A&E and the immunologist had to apply for funding. It helped a bit but it wasn't a cure.

MaximumVolume Thu 27-Apr-17 08:05:18

@Penfold007 this is what frightens me! He is getting slightly more extreme oral allergy reactions to an ever-growing list of foods (mainly in raw form, not sure about nuts) as time goes on, but relatively slowly. My worry is that he needs some formal guidance on managing it & potentially needs an epi-pen as well in case one day it develops into anaphylaxis.

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