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Allergy Sufferers Needed to Take Part in University Study

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The University of Worcester’s influential National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit (NPARU) is appealing to allergy sufferers to get involved in a new study.

Experts at the University will be conducting the study into the efficacy of a phototherapy device for relieving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis – the inflammation of the nasal airways triggered by an allergic reaction.

They are looking to recruit around 50 people during October and November, with suitable applicants needing to be able to visit the Unit – based at the University’s St John’s campus – to have samples taken three times over a three to four week period.

Louise Robertson, Researcher at NPARU, explains: “The phototherapy device we are testing out uses two different wavelengths of light. It is believed that one wavelength promotes increased blood flow and circulation, while the second suppresses the cells that release histamine, reducing inflammation and relieving the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

“We are looking for people over the age of 18 who suffer from allergy to grass pollen, cat dander or house dust mites, but unfortunately we can’t test anyone that suffers from asthma.”

She adds: “Volunteers will need to have a skin prick test to determine their level of allergy and, if they prove suitable, they will be asked to join the study.”

Each of the participants’ three visits to the Unit would last for around an hour, and they will also be asked to use the phototherapy device between visits.

Each participant will be paid £100 after their final visit to cover the cost of travel, and they will be able to keep the device at the end of the study.

Anyone interested in taking part, or those who want further information, can contact Louise Robertson at l.robertson@worc.ac.uk, or can text their email address to 07975545443.