New relief in sight

A daily tablet dissolved under the tongue can safeguard sufferers of Spring hay fever and deadly thunderstorm asthma – possibly saving lives.

The Study

Melbourne researchers have found the OralAir pill is capable of training the immune system to tolerate allergens for up to a decade.

The drug was trialled by the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne in November 2016, coincidentally at the time as the city’s tragic thunderstorm asthma event.

The weather event devastatingly claimed nine lives and forced thousands to seek emergency medical treatment.

Thunderstorm asthma occurs when a high pollen count in the air is combined with humidity and a northerly wind. After the weather is windy, dry grass pollens are more likely to rise into clouds. Then because of the moisture, these pollens explode and break up into fragments that are quickly spread through the air via strong storm winds.

People who have Spring hay fever are vulnerable to thunderstorm asthma. Symptoms include shortness of breath, wheezing and chest tightness.

The Results

Results showed that the participants involved in the trial did not experience any life-threatening symptoms. Of patients who were not taking the tablet, 40 per cent suffered asthma and were forced to visit a hospital Emergency Department.

The study also found if taken daily for four months over three years, OralAir can train the person’s immune system to tolerate the rye grass pollen allergen for up to 10 years.

Source: 9NEWS

How much will the pill cost?

The medication is available now, but not listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), costing $350 for a four-month course with a referral.

It’s recommended people with seasonal hay fever visit their GP in October to prepare an asthma plan for the November thunderstorms.

The treatment could come as a relief to an estimated 4.6 million Australians who suffer from hay fever.

To learn more about Thunderstorm Asthma find our recent article here.

Asthma symptoms can quickly become severe or life-threatening, so please call Triple Zero (000) if you think you’re having an asthma attack.

This article was written by Home Doctor Brisbane Team.