Now that you have been diagnosed with allergies and/or asthma you are wondering what you can do about those allergies. Our doctors have likely discussed measures to avoid your allergy triggers and also prescribed various medications to treat your allergy symptoms. So what else can be done to treat allergies?
Many patients have heard about or know a family member or friend who has been on allergy shots. Immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is a way of giving the immune system what it is allergic to in small but incremental doses in order to develop tolerance to the allergen over time. It is the only known disease modifying treatment for allergies and asthma. While natural exposures to the antigens in the environment will cause symptoms, only deliberate exposure to specified amounts of antigen can cause a long lasting, sustained tolerance for years to come in the future. Also, treatment with allergy shots can lower your risk of developing future asthma.
When caring for younger patients, it is important for them to understand how injections are performed. As opposed to an intramuscular injection, like the influenza vaccine, that penetrates the muscle, traditional allergy injections are administered as a subcutaneous injection. These needles are much smaller, much shorter, and pain is minimal if any and will not be a barrier to success. In fact, patients as young as 4 and 5 successfully receive injections if needed.
Other forms of immunotherapy include oral tablets. These are allergens in the form of tablets, that are placed under the tongue on a daily basis to treat allergies. They are limited to certain allergens including dust, ragweed and grass.
Our providers have been delivering safe, effective immunotherapy for over 30 years. If you feel you would like to hear more about allergy shots, call our office.