Table Speech

Initiation Speech
“Beer is a Malt Beverage “

March 28, 2012

Initiation Speech by Mr. Hitoshi Ogita does not appear.
Mr. Tomonobu Kamio

Initiation Speech
“Trends in Hay Fever (Cedar Pollen Allergy) Treatments “

Mr. Tomonobu Kamio
Board Chairman & Director,
Kamio Memorial Hospital

Hay fever is one type of allergic rhinitis, triggered by pollen from cedars, hinoki cypress, orchard grass, ragweed or mugwort. Cedar pollen has become a social issue nowadays, as the amount of pollen dispersed into the air is overwhelming.

There are three types of treatment: medication, surgical therapy and immunotherapy.

In medication, antihistamine drugs and other anti-allergic drugs (leukotriene antagonist), oriental medicine and steroid hormone drugs are used internally. Steroid nasal spray or vasoconstrictor nose drops are also available. Antihistamine drugs are classified into two: the first and the second generations. The fist-generation drugs, which are mainly non-prescription drugs today, have an immediate effect, yet they cause drowsiness and dryness of body water, including saliva and urine. They are contraindicated for a patient with glaucoma and prostatic hypertrophy. The second generation drugs were developed with reduced side effects and they are the standard drugs for hay fever treatment today.

Patients are classified into two: one with sneezing and runny nose, and the other with stuffy nose. Different types of medication are prescribed, depending on their extent of condition. The second generation antihistamine drugs are prescribed to patients with sneezing and runny nose, while leukotriene antagonist is prescribed to patients with stuffy nose. Steroid nasal sprays are used for patients with moderate to severe symptoms, which are safe enough to be used everyday without side effects. Steroid oral medicine and vasoconstrictor nose drops can also be used for more serious cases, yet steroid drugs have side effects which require medical attention.

Hay fever patients are advised to start taking medication every day before cedar pollen circulates in the air, which will help prevent and inhibit severe symptoms.

Laser therapy is the surgical treatment, a 20-minute-quick operation that cauterizes a part of the nasal membrane. This treatment is highly effective for a stuffy nose, yet not so much for a runny nose. An operation is effective only for 1-2 years. Patients are advised not to have more than three operations due to safety reasons.

Immunotherapy is a method of giving subcutaneous injections repeatedly to patients and exposing them to increasing amounts of allergen, cedar extract, to improve their tolerance and reduce symptoms. Although this therapy proves to be highly effective against cedar pollen, it has not become widespread yet as patients are required to take injections over three years as well as many clinics remain cautious. Improvements are being made on immunotherapy and a new method of administering extract sublingually at home is scheduled to start in 3 years, which will exempt patients from consulting doctors frequently.

Let me close my speech by encouraging hay fever patients to expect a brighter future, as there are various measures underway including improvements of the cedar species, development of new drugs or vaccinations, as well as new treatments of cedar extract sublingual immunotherapy.