The word immunotherapy means the prevention of disease with substances that stimulate the immune response. In other words, you’re training your immune system to fight off the infection by ingesting the infection itself in very small, controlled amounts. For something like allergies, where you’re constantly exposed to your triggers, this type of treatment is ideal.
Immunotherapy administered through injections has been a common form of treatment for allergies for some time. This method has been proven to be over 80% effective in curing people’s allergies to the point where exposure to their triggers doesn’t cause a reaction. The biggest struggle for immunotherapy is the actual injection. 10% of people suffer from a phobia of needles and those who don’t struggle with this phobia are still not keen on being stuck every day. Because of this, doctors have developed a new immunotherapy method called Sublingual Immunotherapy.
Sublingual Immunotherapy, or allergy drops, is developed in the same way allergy shots are: by a customized treatment determined by a licensed ENT. The first step is to get allergy tested. An allergy test tells your doctor exactly what your allergy triggers are. Your ENT will use the information collected in this test to create the customized drops to be absorbed under the tongue.
Once your drops have been made, you may continue your treatment at home on a daily basis. You simply place a drop under your tongue and allow it to be absorbed for a few minutes. The amount of drops and concentration will escalate over time until a maintenance level has been reached.
The length of the course of treatment will depend on the severity of your allergies. Some patients will only need to take the drops for months, others for several years. This doesn’t mean you won’t see any improvement until the end of your treatment; it simply means your allergies won’t be entirely controlled until the treatment has ended.
Sublingual Immunotherapy is a great alternative for those who have severe allergies, are afraid of needles, have busy schedules, or who are on high blood pressure medications. Though it has not yet been FDA approved in the US, it is extremely safe, even for children. To start treating your allergies, make an appointment with the Pasha Snoring & Sinus Center and begin your treatment. To learn more about Sublingual Immunotherapy, click here.