I have always suffered from what I would have called mild hay fever, annoying, but just something I got on with. If I sat on grass I would get itchy eczema along with the usual sneezing runny nose and eyes and if I spent to long outside, asthma. I usually took antihistamines to combat the hay fever.
Whilst I was pregnant I was told not to take antihistamines at all and this resulted in a very uncomfortable summer. (Eczema on my face, and everywhere else and streaming eyes and asthma on venturing outdoors). Luckily for me when I was seeing my midwife she sent me for a blood test to see if anything else could be causing my eczema and asthma. The test came back that I was very allergic to grass and dust. I was then given prescribed Grazax. Grazax is a pill that you take 3 months before the hay fever season starts and then for three years.
I was a little sceptical and a quick search on Google came up with some negative press. Once the hay fever season started I decided to give it a test by mowing the law, usually a job that my husband does because of my hay fever. I had no symptoms at all, only when emptying the mower did I feel a little wheezy, but this for me was a complete miracle. The last time I had tried to mow the law I had given up after a few minutes an itchy wheezy mess.
I was able to mow the lawn throughout the summer and would definitely say my symptoms were much reduced. This now became my job as my hay fever was much better than my husbands. He would start sneezing when I had mowed the lawn, whilst I was fine. On very high pollen count days I did have mild symptoms but nothing like before, I can now enjoy taking my children to the park without suffering the consequences.
I have now just had my second summer season on Grazax and can see an improvement on last year, I was chief lawn mower for the whole of the summer and only had one asthma attack and itchy watery eye episode – this was just before a thunder storm. The only other hay fever and asthma episode was at the North Devon Country Show, lots of grass and animals, not a great combination and a blindingly hot day
At the same time as being prescribed Grazax I was also prescribed protopic cream for the eczema on my face – this had an amazing effect and I have to say improved the eczema on my face dramatically. Initially it was painful to apply but I soon saw results, within weeks I did not need it on my neck or forehead. I now use a small amount of the 0.03% on my cheeks if I feel my skin itching or notice the small lumps that fortell an eczema flare-up. I have to say it has changed my quality of life. Before I was in constant pain or discomfort and would apply ice packs to take the burning heat from my face; I would flinch when my daughters touched me which used to break my heart. I used to dislike going out and socialising as I was so self-conscious of my skin.
Now, although I still have mild hay fever, it is not restricting my life as it was before.
Has anyone else used Grazax? How did you find it? And what about Protopic cream? Did it change your life too?
[Special thanks for this guest blog post goes to Pasky, my sister!]