Allergy Drop Therapy, a treatment that can be managed at home, can help you beat your allergies for good.
Allergic disease has become a major epidemic. There are 36 million allergy patients in the United States and 15 million asthmatics. One in five people in this country have either allergies, asthma or both—and these numbers are rising. Approximately 10% of children suffer from hay fever and the prevalence of asthma in children has almost doubled since the 1980s.
We have some decent medications for allergies and asthma that can help control symptoms, but patients are still searching for better relief and, more importantly, a more permanent reversal to their disease. Parents are seeking to reduce the need for chronic medications for their children, and there is a growing interest in more safe, natural therapies.
Allergy Immunotherapy or Allergy Shots
Allergy immunotherapy, or allergy shots, has been the mainstay of treatment for severely allergic patients for the past half century. Until recently, it was the only option for patients with severe allergies and asthma who were seeking immune protection.
The big problem with allergy shots is they are time consuming and inconvenient. Parents need to bring their children to the doctor for weekly injections and then wait 20 to 30 minutes after receiving the injections. These shots are also painful and potentially dangerous. Itching, swelling and redness are fairly common and, in some cases, severe systemic reactions can occur. Although extremely rare, there have even been deaths from allergy shots.
Allergy Drop Therapy
Allergy Drop Therapy (a.k.a. Sublingual Immunotherapy) is an exciting alternative. Patients use this therapy from the convenience of their own homes by simply placing drops under their tongues. Patients are much happier being able to manage their treatment at home. Families don’t need to worry about going away for vacation or kids going to summer camp since they can take the drops with them.
This might explain why the compliance rate for allergy shots is only 35% but is at 75% for Allergy Drops. When it’s easier for patients to actually stick with their treatment program, they see much better results.
The safety of immunotherapy is a major concern. We don’t want to create a situation where the treatment is worse than the disease. That’s one reason we love using Allergy Drops. It’s so much safer than allergy shots and is just as effective.
It works like any vaccine. We introduce a small amount of the allergic substance into the body and then the immune system creates a protective reaction against it. With allergies, the body is creating antibodies against the allergic response.
The protocol for getting started on Allergy Drops is actually quite easy. There is a simple blood test that determines if someone has allergies and which allergies need treatment. This test is not affected by allergy medications so there is no concern about having to stop taking them beforehand. For the patient’s convenience, labs are drawn right in the office with the results coming back within a week. Then treatment can begin right away.
As with all allergy immunotherapy, treatment begins slowly with very low amounts of the offending allergen.
Doses increase each month and, in some cases, patients will see benefits within three to four months. When patients begin to experience the benefits will partly depend upon the season for a particular allergen. For instance, trees pollinate in the spring, beginning typically in March. Grasses pollinate in the summer and ragweed begins in late July continuing until the first frost. Dust mites and molds are problematic all year long.
Fall is the perfect time to begin treatment for tree and grass allergies. Since there are no pollens in the air, patients aren’t experiencing allergic symptoms, but by the time the allergy season begins next spring they will have significant protection built up.
Asthma is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease. While medications are generally used to control the effects of asthma, Allergy Drops can actually prevent or even reverse it. Many studies, mostly done in Europe, show that medication use goes way down both for allergies and asthma. In one study, 87% of asthma patients actually saw a reversal of their asthma by the end of treatment. By the time the study was reported, this reversal was still in effect a remarkable 10 years later. We can treat children as young as four or five. This is important because treating children with allergies when they are young can prevent asthma from developing later in life. The gift parents can give their children who might not have to suffer a life with asthma is huge. Prevention is the hallmark of our practice, so it makes absolute sense to us to get children and young adults on Allergy Drops, not to mention any adult who is currently suffering from unpleasant symptoms.
We are very excited that we have added Allergy Drop Therapy into our practice. This life-altering treatment fits perfectly with everything else we do to help our patients live healthier, more productive, and, ultimately, more enjoyable lives.
For further information or to set up an initial appointment, call 440-349-1700.