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Search Continues for a New Way to Cure Allergies

For some 40-million Americans, springtime in the United States is a miserable experience. Spring, which is happening now in most of the U.S., often causes seasonal Allergies, which include itchy watery eyes and constant sneezing. But, researchers are developing some promising new treatments to provide relief.

It is spring in many parts of the United States. Flowers and trees are blooming...and this doctors' office is filled with people suffering from allergies.

“I have been on so many medications, it is just trial and error for me," says one patient.

Many Americans are overwhelmed by their allergies, and have to get injections every week or every other month. With more Americans developing seasonal allergies, researchers are working harder to find simpler and more effective allergy treatments.

In Europe, a popular alternative to allergy shots, are allergy drops, which are high doses of allergen extract placed under the tongue.

For example, a person allergic to grass pollen would be given doses of grass pollen extract--gradually desensitizing the body to the effects of grass pollen.

Doctor Harold Nelson of the National Jewish Research Center says, "It is a long-term process, just as the injections, but you don't have to go to a doctor's office."

The drops are now being tested in the United States. Also being tested...nasal sprays. This new class of medicine may actually prevent allergies. Researchers say the spray usually takes effect within 45 minutes.

Another new treatment is ultra-violet light. Researchers are shining the light into the patient's nose three times a week, in hopes of paralyzing the cells that trigger an allergic reaction.

"The results were quite impressive in terms of reduction of symptoms," says Dr. Nelson.

Three novel approaches in the treatment of allergies--that, some doctors say, are nothing to sneeze at.