Those who suffer from allergies know how important quick relief is without feeling tired, drowsy or out of it. Severe seasonal environmental allergies can leave you reaching for allergy medicine every four to six hours wondering if there is any end in sight. Thankfully, with allergy immunotherapy there is long term relief for your allergies.
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Allergy immunotherapy involves testing to determine your sensitivity to certain environmental factors. You will be tested for food and inhalant allergens. Once all triggers have been determined you will begin immunotherapy. This process can take three to five years for full effect.
There are two types immunotherapy available:
Weekly allergy shots build up your body's tolerance to allergens. Every three months the concentration of the shots is made stronger. After roughly six months to one year the frequency is usually reduced to every two to four weeks. Shots are usually subject to a co pay and/or deductible.
Sublingual drops are similar to shots because they too contain a solution of your specific allergens. They are placed under the tongue once per day, at any time of the day. After a week the drops are increased to two drops for a week, then progress to three drops per day. The concentration of allergens is increased with each new bottle of drops. Insurance does not cover allergy immunotherapy drops.
Allergy immunotherapy benefits many allergy sufferers, but there are certain groups of people who will benefit the most from treatment.
Those with asthma or who are at risk of developing asthma and those who experience unwanted side effects from allergy medicine benefit from these treatments. People currently taking prescription medications which could interfere with over the counter allergy medicine experience a greater benefit, and those who are allergic to common, everyday substances are great candidates for immunotherapy treatment.
Possible side effects associated with immunotherapy include redness, swelling, and irritation at the injection site. Your doctor may suggest that you take over the counter and oral antihistamines help this. Slight itching and redness of the mouth and lips can occur with the drops. These reactions could be worse when the concentration is increased. Anaphylactic shock is another extremely rare side effect you should be aware of, as inflammation of the airway can cause suffocation. For this reason it is extremely important to always have your epi-pen, if prescribed, on you while receiving immunotherapy shots or drops.
If you would like to find out if immunotherapy could benefit you, contact us at Silverstein Institute to set up an appointment.