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What is Infrared Allergy Treatment?
Infrared Allergy Treatment (IAT) is a new alternative treatment to relieve symptoms associated with allergies. People with congested or running nose, sneezing, coughing, nasal and mouth itching, red and itchy eyes can benefit from IAT without using drugs or allergen therapy. The IAT technique is based on using infrared light applied directly into your nostrils. After a few sessions with IAT, allergy symptoms begin to ease and can be successfully managed. This treatment is especially recommended for people who suffer from chronic symptoms of allergies such as patients with allergic rhinitis and hay fever.
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What is Infrared Radiation?
White light (sunlight) is composed by different electromagnetic radiations characterized by its wavelength (measured in nanometers). Visible light (the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum) comprises all those electromagnetic radiations that the human eye can detect, which in terms of wavelength are those that go from 390 to 750 nm. Those electromagnetic radiations that have a wavelength above 750nm are called infrared light or radiation. Perhaps the most known application of infrared radiation is its use in night vision devices.
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How is Infrared Allergy Technology Applied?
A person wishing to use IAT to relieve allergy symptoms must have a IAT machine, which is a small device that has two LED lights. Those LEDs emit infrared radiation. According to the manufacture of the Nasal Warmer (see reference below) the LEDs are introduced into each of the nostrils and the device is turned on for 3 to 4.5 minutes per session. Two sessions per day are recommended to start seeing relief but 3 are needed for complete symptoms reversal.
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Is it Effective?
It is difficult to find scientific studies validating the effectiveness and safety of the treatment. The manufacturer of the Nasal Warmer states that the device is “medically approved" but a search of medical databases have no studies on it. At this web site the following quote appears: “a trial at Tel Aviv University revealed that 72 percent of hay fever patients reported a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in their overall condition".
The information on its effectiveness comes from two sources: the manufacturers of the IAT devices and from anecdotal references from patients who have used and have left their opinions in different forums and groups. In general, the experiences related are positive with a 2-week period needed to see some results. In the case of hay fever it is recommend to start the treatment about two weeks before pollen counts start to climb to the point when allergy symptoms start to appear.
More research is needed to assess the effectiveness and safety of IAT before it can be fully recommended. If a person wishes to use this or any other alternative or complementary technique he (or she) needs to ask for advice from his (or her) doctor. Potential health risks and interactions may need to be evaluated.
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Schlessinger, M and Irving J. Spiro. 1995. Infrared technology fundamentals. M. Dekker
GoldPlus Technology. Allergy Relief http://www.goldplustech.com/wellness/allergy_relief/allergy_relief_scb01