This medical video explores the amazing new treatments available today.
Read the full transcript »
Jennifer Matthews: Twenty-four year old Torey McFarland loves the great outdoors. Torey McFarland: On the summer, I go camping and boating a lot. My summer is pretty much all outside. Jennifer Matthews: What she doesn't love is the way the outdoors makes her feel. Torey McFarland: Runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy throat, sore throat, watery eyes, itchy eyes. Jennifer Matthews: At National Jewish Hospital in Denver, Allergist Harold Nelson is trying to stop those symptoms before they ever start. He is studying a new type of therapy for hay fever. Harold Nelson: If it works well, it's the perfect treatment. Jennifer Matthews: After exposure to allergens such as pollen, the body produces a variety of antibodies that sensitized mast cells to produce the chemical histamine. Re-exposure to the allergen causes allergic symptoms. Anti-histamines only blocks histamine. Harold Nelson: This drug, instead, tries to block the pathway within the mast cell, so the histamine is never released. Jennifer Matthews: Doctor Nelson equates it to starting at the tree trunk. Harold Nelson: So you block the histamine branch. You block the branch that generates some later things that cause symptoms. It blocks even later events that set up chronic inflammatory response in the nose. Jennifer Matthews: Torey was in a study of the new drug. She hopes it will make her life easier. Torey McFarland: It's kind of a nuisance to make sure you take your pills twice a day and do your nose sprays. Jennifer Matthews: And the less time spent taking her four allergy prescriptions means more time outside. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.