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Hayfever: Stopped by a Red Light

John Parry

John Parry

Posted Aug 10, 2009

Coinciding with the grass pollen season, every year since the age of 7 or 8 hayfever has been an unwelcome constant of the British summer – more predictable than the weather but never good :). Antihistamines help but it’s no miracle cure.

I get the full range of symptoms so I’ve tried pretty much everything. I’ve therefore learnt to treat complimentary or ‘alternative’ treatments with some skepticism since most seem to make little difference. However, this year it’s been different. At the end of last summer I came across a new treatment, which actually seems to work, and work well.

It uses red light to desensitize the nasal passages, thereby inhibiting the allergic reaction and hence reducing irritation. I got it from my local chemist for the princely sum of £15. Used for 4 minutes morning and night it almost completely relieves my symptoms so for the first time in 40 years I’ve had a summer without antihistamines.

Hayfever reliever

Hayfever reliever

It’s made possible by the availability of high brightness red LEDs. Yet another example of how LEDs are changing our world. We’re familiar with the thermal challenges of using LEDs for lighting purposes, particularly as replacements in existing light fittings where heat previously lost by radiation now has to be removed from the luminaire by convection. If you’re interested in thermal design of LEDs you can check out a recent web seminar on this by Paul Rose and myself here.

Since I’ve ventured to provide medical advice I’m going to sign off with the ‘rap name’ my colleagues bestowed upon me due to my recently spending a lot of time with headphones on to check the recording of the presentation…

Till next time,

Dr. J, Hampton Court

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About John Parry

John ParryI started my career in the consultancy group at CHAM Ltd., using PHOENICS for a variety of CFD applications. From the consultancy group I moved into support, helping customers debug models, and figuring out how to model new applications. That broadened into delivering training courses and creating training material. I was invited to join Flomerics when it started in 1989 to head up Customer Services, and I jumped at the chance to work for a startup. After a few years supporting customers using FloTHERM I moved across into research, developing thermofluid models of common electronic parts, like fans and IC packages, later managing the DELPHI and SEED projects. More recently I worked with Flomerics’ Finance Director on the acquisition of MicReD, helping to integrate MicReD’s business into Flomerics Group which was great fun. Since Flomerics acquired Nika, I’ve been responsible for promoting the FloEFD suite in education, and moved into marketing. I now work as part of the Mechanical Analysis Division’s Corporate Marketing group, responsible for ElectronicsCooling Magazine and the division’s Higher Education Program. Expertise: I’m a chemical engineer by training and did a PhD in reactor design before getting involved with CFD more than 25 years ago. Visit John Parry’s Blog

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Comments 3

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Hi John, I have the same problem, but fortunately just about 2-3 weeks in the year. As long as I don't run through the grass fields I'm pretty much OK except a little sneezing and running nose. But I wonder if the back of your throat is glowing red if you plug them in :-) Must be funny in the dark, especially on Halloween :-)

Boris Marovic
8:07 AM Aug 13, 2009

Christmas not Halloween. It would make Rudolph very jealous!

John Parry
8:34 AM Aug 13, 2009

[...] year I posted about a light therapy device that desensitizes the nasal passages, inhibiting the allergic reaction and reducing irritation [...]

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