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Allergies Strike Again - Time for an Air Purifier Perhaps?

Posted Feb 17 2010 12:00am

Well, I know breastfeeding is believed to reduce the severity of some allergies but my eldest daughter, who was breastfed for 16 months, and is now 9 years old is absolutely tortured with them. In fact, her allergy to grass (her main allergen) is so severe that the consultant we were referred to started her on a 3 year course of Grazax, a fairly new and expensive treatment (thankfully paid for by the NHS), to try to increase her tolerance to grass pollen. When I mentioned that I'd hoped breastfeeding would have lessened her chances of having allergies, he told me it doesn't matter what you do, allergies are genetic and no amount of breastfeeding would have prevented it developing. 

The problem is that where we live we are pretty much surrounded by fields and right next door to us is a family run company who manufacture animal feeds meaning huge drums of grains being filled and emptied regularly! Obviously this means there's an almost constant stream of grass pollen in the air no matter the time of year!

Last year, Tara's eyes puffed up so much that I was called to school to take her home despite the fact she'd already taken antihistamines and eye drops. I was horrified to discover she could barely open her eyes and thankfully the school had given her an icepack to help.

It's only February now but this weekend I kept looking at Tara and noticing that something wasn't quite right about her eyes. I knew they'd been itching a little but apparently it was so bad that she pulled at her eyelashes to try to get some relief; the result was that she has pulled almost all of them out... 

So, as you may guess I'm at my wits end with worrying about her. I have pollen and dust allergies too so I can relate to the frustration caused by constant itching eyes but although mine developed at the same age as Tara's, it was never so bad that I lost my eyelashes.

Having done a little research, I've read that an air purifier may be our next option but I'm wondering how successful this may be, given the fact that they can be fairly expensive and cumbersome appliances.

Any of you ever tried one or have you any advice on other things I can do to help reduce the severity of the attacks? We've tried keeping windows closed but this can be difficult especially on hot summer days. We've tried Vaseline on Tara's eyes and nose but with very limited success and we're currently cutting wheat and reducing dairy food and sugar in her diet in the hope it will all help. Oh yes, and apparently a spoonful of honey every day can be helpful too (so we're doing that as well) although some people have suggested it must be local honey which I can't seem to get hold of!!

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