A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

Posts Tagged ‘hay fever’

Red light redux

Posted by apgaylard on May 18, 2011

Three years ago I investigated claims that were being made for a red-light phototherapy device, marketed as a hay fever treatment by Lloydspharmacy.  The claims were based on a single, small, un-replicated trial with blinding problems (Neuman and Finkelstein, 1997).  Given that this is the hay fever season, I thought I’d revisit the topic and see if things have changed much.

The only new investigation of red-light devices phototherapy treatment for hay fever I am aware of was published in 2009.  Emberlin and Lewis (2009) reported “a double-blind, placebo-controlled grass pollen challenge conducted out of the pollen season, on 101 adult male and female hay fever sufferers. Subjects were assigned to placebo or active groups by stratified random sampling using responses to a baseline questionnaire. All subjects used active or placebo devices three times a day for 14 days before pollen challenge. Subjects were monitored for 2.5 h after challenge.”

On the positive side, the authors found:

“Significant reductions in severity of symptom scores were found for sneezing, running nose, running eyes and itchy mouth/palate (p < or = 0.05).”

But, on the other hand:

“No significant differences were found in the results for itchy eyes, itchy nose, itchy throat, ECPs, PIFn and PEFn.”

The authors concluded:

“The results show that the device significantly reduced some hay fever symptoms. The study would have been improved if compliance was monitored electronically and if nasal congestion was monitored by report. The mode of action is unclear. The study does not consider long-term implications of the therapy.”

In December 2009 the ASA considered whether this study was sufficient to support the claims that Lloydspharmacy had made in a TV commercial.  (You can read the adjudication here.)  The decision went against them.  The ASA’s expert found a number of problems with using this study to support Lloydspharmacy’s claims: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Phototherapy | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Homeopathy Awareness Week and hay fever

Posted by apgaylard on May 15, 2009

bigstockphoto_Sneeze_1643312This year Homeopathy Awareness Week (14th to 24th June) will focus on hay fever.  The event is being promoted by the British Homeopathic Foundation, a charity closely connected with the Faculty of Homeopathy, the UK’s organisation for medical doctors who also practise homeopathy. 

Their website encourages people to “trust homeopathy”.  So, decided to improve my personal awareness of the evidence that homeopathy will do anything to help this unpleasant seasonal complaint. 

After all, given that this event has the backing of actual doctors – albeit homeopaths – I would expect this campaign to some serious evidence behind it.  Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in homeopathy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

 
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