It is a shame to dread spring because it's the start of allergy season. If you have hay fever, the Avera Research Institute wants your help. In return they hope to reduce your allergy symptoms.
Like so many of you, Jason DiMercurio suffers from seasonal allergies. Inside at work, as the switchboard manager at Avera McKennan, his symptoms are in check, but as the weather warms he knows his spring fever will lose out to hay fever.
Jason says, "A lot of times with grass allergies just a lot of runny nose, watery eyes. I have to take a box of Kleenex anywhere I go."
The 32 year old let us watch as he gets blood drawn to test for grass allergy. He's enrolled in a clinical study through the Avera Research Institute in Sioux Falls to find out if the nutritional supplement EpiCor will decrease the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
Participants must be 18 years old, be allergic to grass and experience at least two of the following symptoms on a seasonal basis: itchy nose, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, itchy eyes. They can not have uncontrolled asthma.
Dr. Mark Bubak from Dakota Allergy and Asthma in Sioux Falls is the principal investigator in the study.
Dr. Bubak says, "Grass allergy is actually the number one allergy people have. About 15% of people have an allergy in the nose."
If you are already taking the medications listed below for allergies, you can still participate in the study.
*Loratadine (Claritin, Claritin-D)
*Fexofenadine (Allegra, Allegra-D)
*Diphenhydramine (Benadryl Allergy)
Dr Bubak says, "The reason we need to keep looking for treatment for allergies is there are a lot of people who aren't controlling it. They have terrible allergies and no amount of medicine is helping control it."
Jason says, "I'm hoping that whatever they can do for me, I'm able to get some relief especially during harvest season and so I will be able to spend more time outside with my dogs."
They are currently enrolling patients for the 14 week study at no cost to you. Women who are pregnant, breast feeding or plan on becoming pregnant are excluded.
Mary Hurd, RN