ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Allergies and Immunotherapy

Updated on August 18, 2014

My Allergy Treatment

By Loretta Livingstone

I suffer from allergies. Hay fever, dust mite, cats! I have had quite severe reactions to them since I was 11. Probably earlier, but this is when my doctor diagnosed the first one.

For years summer meant sneezing, itchy throat, irritated eyes. There didn't seem to be much on offer to help me.

When I was 17 I discovered Piriton! Relief! Or so I thought! Yup, relief all right. In the form of being knocked right out. I had to take the smallest dose I could find. And it worked - for a while. Over time, though, the Piriton knocked me out less but also worked less well. Foolishly - I was young and rather stupid at the time and didn't read the instruction - I took a friend's advice and upped the dosage. That helped - for a while.

So now I have reached the stage where I am prepared to try Sublingual immunotherapy. This is a treatment which applies minute amounts of the substance you have problems with, in the expectation of it turning your allergic responses off. Does it work? How well did the treatments preceding this work? Read on and see.

This is the story of my continuing battle with hay fever, and my attempt to find a permanent solution through Sublingual Immunotherapy.

Desperate needs call for desperate measures

So now the battle with hay fever really began. On the odd occasions I forgot to take my medication I knew ALL about it. I streamed! I sneezed! I clawed at my eyes and made weird noises as I tried to ease the irritation in my throat. It didn't exactly make for fun times.

And the Piriton gradually became less effective.

In desperation I went for testing. They pricked the skin on my arms with all sorts of pollens and things. My arm drove me crazy with itching and came up with great hives. They told me I was allergic to house dust mite and pollen! Great! I could have told them that! What were they going to do about it? A big, fat nothing. They used to treat it with jabs but, because of health risks they had stopped the treatments.

Some Hayfever Remedies

Two things I am using alongside the immunotherapy are the Beconase spray, which I have managed to reduce considerably (this is good as it can build up pressure in the eye if you use it for long periods) and the last option. Bionase light therapy. (Mine is a different brand as I live in the UK, and I use the equivalent from my local pharmacy. On its own, this isn't sufficient, but if I stop using it I notice my allergy definitely worsens. I like this because there are no chemicals involved, but you should not use it if you have nasal polyps.

Member's Mark Formerly Known As Simply Right Cetirizine Hydrochloride Allergy Tablets,10 mg-400 Count.
Member's Mark Formerly Known As Simply Right Cetirizine Hydrochloride Allergy Tablets,10 mg-400 Count.
These are my base treatment. They need lots more help but I daren't even think about stopping them. They worked well for many years though.


Whatever was I to do next?

I Need Help!

Now I was starting to get desperate. My wedding was coming up, I did NOT want to sneeze my way down the aisle. I tried kenalog - a steroid jab in the backside, for those of you who don't know. Also I had orchids in my bouquet, as they didn't seem to make me sneeze. No orange blossom for this sneezy girl!

Everyone reacts to something, right?

What is your allergy?

See results

My Arsenal!

For the next 10 years I tried everything going. Some things worked, some didn't. Some worked well - for a while, but my problem grew ever worse. Life was beginning to become more difficult. All year round, but especially in summer. When I longed to have doors and windows open I often had to close them. The arsenal grew. The expense grew! My allergies grew right alongside them!

Then I heard about a product called Grazax. Sublingual Immunotherapy. Small tablets which are placed under the tongue every other day. I asked my doctor if she would refer me to someone who specialised in Immunotherapy. And yes, it seems to be helping. Summer is becoming easier. I still take my medications, but have at least managed to reduce the Beconase. I'm now into my 3rd and final year, and hoping for good results.

And soon we will have the moment of truth. We are approaching June, the hayfever season is about to ramp up a notch. I will let you know how I get on.

My Progress

It is still early days for me with the Staloral, but I am nearing the end of my third and final year with the Grazax. I am still using Cetirizine, the light therapy, and Beconase, but whereas before these were no longer working and I had reached the maximum of Beconase, now I am down to 1 squirt of Beconase once or twice a day, which is half or less than I was using before. I think, had it been not such a hot summer I would be on 1 squirt each nostril per day. The pressure in my eyes, which the Beconase was causing to rise to the upper limit of safe, has dropped a bit and eill hopefully drop further, and so for me, even if this is as good as it gets, the Grazax has been worth the expense. It is possible that, once the Staloral has reached its maximum effect, I shall be able to reduce the Beconase further. Already I don't expect to need it this winter. I have been comfortable, with very few hayfever problems this summer. Even those I experience are greatly reduced. Three years ago, even on the maximum dose of Beconase I was having lots of problems. I am feeling quite positive.

The Latest Treatment

Finally a company called Staloral have brought out drops for house dust mite! Hurrah! Maybe one day all my problems will be over.

There is a catch - isn't there always? They are expensive. I can only afford one year at a time, and they need to be taken for 4-5 years for optimal efficacy. But the good thing is that many people in the trials found they remained problem free for years afterwards.

The drops need to be taken under the tongue, before breakfast. They come in varying strengths. The adult doses start with the blue ringed bottle, and the doses go up gradually until you graduate to the purple ringed bottle. I have just reached the purple bottle. I am documenting my experiences on Facebook. The reason I am doing this is because I was completely unable to find anyone else who either had undergone, or was undergoing the same therapy. I hope that reading about my experiences will help other people in the same situation.


Please note, Grazax is now being phased out and replaced with Staloral for hayfever. Check with your Allergy Specialist for details. It is annoying that this is happening in the middle of my treatment. If I'd known about it I could have had the more advanced treatment. Sigh!

Hay Fever

A poem I wrote about hay fever

Hay Fever

Unbearable itch!

My eyes - so sore.

Rubbing at them

'til they're raw.

Sneezing, sniffing,

bunged up nose.

Cannot sleep

on nights like those.

Throat is tickling.

What to do?

Hay fever,

how I hate you.

© Loretta Livingstone

I'd love to read your comments

Hi There

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      6 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @asereht1970: You're very lucky. :)

    • asereht1970 profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      It's good I don't suffer from allergies.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      7 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @mel-kav: Oh that's not good. I do hope you find a solution which works for you.

    • mel-kav profile image


      7 years ago

      I, too, have multiple allergies - causing a variety of respiratory symptoms and skin rashes. Yuk!

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      8 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @ThisisMissyMiss: I hope you find some cures.

    • ThisisMissyMiss profile image


      8 years ago from The Fabulous Midwest

      I'm allergic to everything. I feel your pain.

    • Loretta L profile imageAUTHOR

      Loretta Livingstone 

      8 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      @aesta1: Unfortunately allergies have been a problem for me since the age of 11. Things didn't impove with age :(

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Increasingly, allergy is becoming a serious problem for us now that we are older. Many things affect us even just the change in weather.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)