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Hay fever sufferer finds relief in a £6.99 ‘godsend’ remedy 

A microbiologist whose hay fever was once so severe she could be virtually blinded by an attack has finally found a remedy.

Olivia Kelly, from Harrow, London, was besieged by the condition all year round – despite it usually being restricted to summer months for many sufferers. 

But after years of anguish, the 34-year-old has found her saviour in the form of a £6.99 health food shop balm, called HayMax.

Ms Kelly, who used to have to take time off work to cope with her hay fever before she discovered the product, said: ‘It’s been a complete godsend.

‘I’m much more confident now, I can go out for long countryside walks or to parks without worrying.’

Olivia Kelly, from Harrow, London, is besieged by the condition all year round – despite it usually being restricted to certain months

Ms Kelly, who is also plagued by dust and pet allergies, came across HayMax when she was shopping in Brighton three years ago.

She found applying a small amount of the allergen barrier balm around her nostrils before going out eased her debilitating symptoms.

Now, Ms Kelly uses it religiously – and is even able to go horse-riding – something she previously had to cut back on due to her allergies.

She added: ‘I love the outdoors and animals, which is difficult given my allergies.

‘I love going horse-riding, which people think is mad, but I used to get round it by putting petroleum jelly around my nose to block the pollen.

‘If I was having a particularly bad allergy cycle, I’d have to take a step back and stop doing it. But now I don’t have to worry. 

‘I can even go to the park, where pollen will be particularly high, and enjoy a beautiful day without worrying I’m breathing in too many allergens.’ 

Ms Kelly, originally from County Sligo, Ireland, has been asthmatic since she was a baby.

But after years of suffering, the 34-year-old has found her saviour in the form of a £6.99 health food shop balm, called HayMax

But after years of suffering, the 34-year-old has found her saviour in the form of a £6.99 health food shop balm, called HayMax

Ms Kelly, who discovered the product by chance, said: 'It's been a complete godsend'

Ms Kelly, who discovered the product by chance, said: ‘It’s been a complete godsend’

WHAT IS HAY FEVER? 

Hay fever traditionally develops in school-age youngsters or during their teenage years and these groups are more likely to visit a GP with symptoms rather than using over-the-counter treatments.

Caused by an allergy to pollen, the condition is estimated to affect about one in ten Britons and Americans.

Grass pollen is the most common cause of reactions and tends to affect sufferers between May and July. Tree pollens tend to be most active from March to May and weed pollens from early spring to early autumn.

Symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes.

As the body’s immune system reacts to the pollen, cells in the lining of the nose and eyes release histamine and other chemicals. 

These cause inflammation in the nose – a condition called rhinitis – and conjunctivitis in the eyes. 

Her reactions became more severe as she grew older, leaving her with swollen eyes, irritated skin and completely drained of energy.

However, because she is also allergic to dust, staying inside and away from pollen didn’t help either – leaving her trapped in a catch 22.

Ms Kelly said: ‘As a teenager, it became really debilitating.

‘It affected my eyes so much that I couldn’t see, and would have to stay off school and lie on the couch with teabags on my eyes.

‘It got to the point where I couldn’t even differentiate between the seasons anymore. It didn’t matter if it was summer or winter, I’d still have flare ups.

‘My hay fever made me feel really lethargic. I’d have hangover-like symptoms and have no energy. Last summer, I even had to take time off work.’

Ms Kelly sought advice from an allergy specialist eight years ago when she lived in Ireland after ‘every antibiotic and antihistamine’ failed.

But they were unable to insert a tiny camera to investigate further because her nose was so blocked.

Ms Kelly, who is also plagued by dust and pet allergies, came across HayMax when she was shopping in Brighton three years ago

Ms Kelly, who is also plagued by dust and pet allergies, came across HayMax when she was shopping in Brighton three years ago

She found applying a small amount of the allergen barrier balm around her nostrils before going out eased her debilitating symptoms

She found applying a small amount of the allergen barrier balm around her nostrils before going out eased her debilitating symptoms

Ms Kelly said: ‘In the lead up, I’d barely been able to breathe out my nose. Everything seemed to irritate my body.

‘The specialist couldn’t even get the camera in to my nose. He told me it was pretty bad.’

Ms Kelly was eventually able to a CT scan of her sinuses after she was prescribed steroid drops to ease the inflammation.

Tests revealed she also had polyps – abnormal growths of tissue, projecting from a mucus membrane.  

Though the cause of polyps is unknown, inflammation from the sinus due to an allergy like hay fever is thought to accelerate their growth.

Following the allergist appointment, things became even worse for Ms Kelly when she moved to London in 2012.

She said: ‘The pollution there didn’t help.

‘A flare up can be really sudden. I’ll have been out and about, then feel one eye twitch and a build up of mucus in my throat.

‘My eyes can go really bloodshot and be very sensitive to light. The worst is when they swell up and I can hardly see.

‘I’ll feel really out of it and unable to focus. There have been times I’ve had to leave work early because I feel so lethargic.

‘Last summer, my sinuses were so infected by the hay fever, I had to take a whole week off.’

Ms Kelly’s symptoms will usually ease in around 24 hours, following a cool shower and a good night’s sleep.

But, if she’s had a particularly severe episode, it can take her days to return to normal.

She continued: ‘My social life is affected, too. There’s nothing worse than going to things like outdoor weddings and having your eyes all over the place.’ 

Now, Ms Kelly uses it religiously – and is even able to go horse-riding - something she previously had to cut back on due to her allergies

Now, Ms Kelly uses it religiously – and is even able to go horse-riding – something she previously had to cut back on due to her allergies

Her reactions became more severe as she grew older, leaving her with swollen eyes, irritated skin and completely drained of energy

However, because she is also allergic to dust, staying inside and away from pollen didn't help either - leaving her trapped in a catch 22

Her reactions became more severe as she grew older, leaving her with swollen eyes, irritated skin and completely drained of energy. However, because she is also allergic to dust, staying inside and away from pollen didn’t help either – leaving her trapped in a catch 22



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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