Immunotherapy is a long-term solution to allergies that works by introducing small amounts of allergens into the body so that the immune system can build up a tolerance. Typically, immunotherapy is delivered in the form of shots. However, many are beginning to instead opt for allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy.
What Causes Allergies?
Your immune system works to protect your body from diseases, viruses and infections. But for people with allergies, the immune system mistakes harmless substances like pollen at Centennial Olympic Park as dangerous intruders. An allergic reaction occurs when your body is exposed to one of these substances, known as an allergen, and your immune system overreacts.
In order to fight off the intruder, your immune system releases antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which causes your cells to release histamine. Histamine can increase your mucus production and cause swelling and itching; this is what causes your allergy symptoms.
How Are Allergy Drops Administered?
Before you can begin allergy drops, you must first get an allergy test to determine what you’re allergic to. Extracts of the triggering allergens are then prepared in a drop or tablet form.
The drops or tablets are held under the tongue until dissolved. The first dose is taken in an allergist’s office. You’ll have to stay for 30 minutes after so your reaction can be monitored.
You’ll do this anywhere from three days a week to every day depending on the prescription. Drops for grass and ragweed allergies are taken before and during allergy season, while drops for dust mites are taken year-round. This is continued for three to five years, or until symptoms are either resolved or significantly reduced.
What Are the Benefits of Sublingual Immunotherapy?
Some of the benefits of immunotherapy include:
- Not having to take a daily allergy medication.
- Lasting relief from allergy symptoms.
- Avoiding needles if they make you squeamish.
- Low chance of severe reactions.
- Effective for younger patients.
- Fewer visits to the allergist’s office.
For more information about allergy drops or to schedule an appointment with an expert allergist, call ENT of Georgia today.