Want to Cure Your Hayfever? ‘Haytox’ Is the Unexpected Treatment Growing in Popularity

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Constant sneezing, itchy eyes, a runny nose, scratchy throat and severe congestion headaches aren’t exactly the sunny summery spring experiences we spend the winter months dreaming of, but if you’re among the one in five Australians who experience hayfever it’s a reality you’re likely all too familiar with.

The warmer seasons can quickly become an all-consuming and seriously expensive nightmare of antihistamines, nasal sprays, asthma inhalers, steroid creams, anti-inflammatories and hourly refreshes of your pollen count app. But in recent years, a one-off treatment has been gaining popularity with chronic sufferers thanks to its ease and affordability.

While Botox is still best known for freezing frown lines and making reality TV stars look suspiciously devoid of emotions, its many medical benefits are slowly gaining more traction. And with experts predicting a dangerously high pollen season across many parts of Australia thanks to La Nina, Haytox — the pollen-friendly version of Botox — is now in the spotlight and being turned to as a possible solution to avoid looking like a COVID super spreader every time you walk outside.

“After everything we’ve been through over the last couple of years with COVID, it’s now just so awkward to be coughing and sneezing in public,” Dr Niki Talic of Melbourne’s Dr Fresh clinic tells POPSUGAR Australia.

Specialising in medical aesthetic treatments, Dr Talic has been offering Haytox, a nasal form of Botox designed to improve hayfever responses throughout the height of pollen season, for a number of years and says the procedure is quickly growing in popularity due to its cost, time commitment and non-invasiveness.

“Unlike traditional Botox, which is administered via a needle, this is a nasal spray,” she says, explaining, “Botox works by blocking the conduction of the nerve signals in any part of your body that you want to reduce muscle activity. In your nose, it [Haytox] travels into your nasal passage to the nerve centre and reduces the pollen trigger. So it will reduce your sneezing, your coughing and congestion. It can also help with people who get runny or itchy eyes, too.”

Unlike antihistamines and nasal sprays, which are used daily, Haytox remains active for the same time as injected Botox, lasting for roughly 10 – 12 weeks, meaning the one application lasts the majority of the hayfever season.

“It’s not like regular botox or getting your nails done where you commit to upkeep. It’s coming in usually just once a year and followed by a two-week checkup to see how it’s going,” Dr Talic says. 

The procedure itself takes around 10 minutes and, on average, costs between $199 to $250. Results become noticeable within seven to 10 days of application and, for many users, leads to daily treatments no longer being necessary at all.

At the two-week checkup point, Talic says around 90% of her patients have experienced a substantial improvement in symptoms and a reduction in the need for daily treatments.

“It depends where you sit on the allergy spectrum. Some patients don’t need to use anything else at all after having it applied, whereas others may still need to occasionally use those over-the-counter solutions on days where the pollen count is particularly high.”

According to Talic, the guidelines around who should and should not have the treatment are much the same as with any other Botox procedure, namely people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or hoping to fall pregnant in the near future.

For the vast majority of people, though, Talic says the one-and-done treatment offers a dramatic and long-lasting impact for those of us who regularly feel like nature is trying to kill us for three months of the year, with most patients seeing a 50 – 75% improvement in their symptoms within a week. 

“Even if you have a 50% improvement in symptoms, to someone who is at that moderate to severe end of the spectrum, that’s a huge improvement in your quality of life. And more importantly, it’s incredibly safe, a relatively quick procedure and there are no needles involved.”   

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