How to Treat Your Allergy Symptoms Part 3

Last but not least. Immunotherapy, or a series of allergy shots, is the only available treatment that has a chance of reducing allergy symptoms over a longer period of time.immunotherapy can control allergy symptoms

Patients receive subcutaneous (under the skin) injections of increasing concentrations of the allergens to which they are sensitive. These injections reduce the amount of IgE antibodies in the blood and cause the body to make a protective antibody called IgG.

Many people with allergic rhinitis will have a significant reduction in their allergy symptoms and in their need for medication within 12 months of starting immunotherapy. Most patients who benefit from immunotherapy may continue it for three years and then consider stopping.

Now many people are able to stop the injections with good, long-term results, however, some do get worse after immunotherapy is stopped and end up having to start again. As better allergens for immunotherapy are produced, this form of treatment will become an even more effective treatment.

Another form of immunotherapy that is popular in other parts of the world and is gaining interest in the United States is sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).  In this form of immunotherapy, instead of injections under the skin, drops are placed under the tongue. For those that hate needles, this is a very good thing.

This method of immunotherapy has been endorsed by the World Health Organization but has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the US.  While some allergists are using SLIT, it is considered by the FDA as “off-label” use of the extracts.  However, the FDA has approved tablets for immunotherapy use at home to control allergy symptoms.

As always, talk to your doctor about the best way to treat your allergies.

Till next time

The Allergy Store