Tired of Allergy Symptoms?
It's Time To Fight Back
Diagnosis and Treatment
Here at our offices in Atlanta, GA and Starkville, MS, we understand that allergies can get in the way of every day life. That’s why we’re committed to each and every patient so that they can return to normalcy and move on. At the Ear, Nose and Throat Institute, allergy treatment involves a combination of modalities including medication, environmental controls, and Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT). Commonly known as allergy shots, immunotherapy is a program that increases resistance to certain allergens that trigger symptoms. While increasing immunity, it decreases your sensitivity to the substances that trigger those symptoms when exposed. Sublingual drops, commonly referred to as allergy drops, is an individually tailored alternative designed to desensitize you to substances to which you are allergic.
Your test results are used to create a mixture of substances that you’re sensitive to. Sterile extracts are then prepared from allergy-producing materials such as pollens, molds, house dust, and animal danders. These biological substances are taken under the tongue in increasingly stronger doses until your maximum or maintenance dose has been achieved. Allergen immunotherapy involves administering increasing amounts of an allergen to a patient over several months, which has been shown to be effective in preventing the development of new allergies, while in children, preventing the progression of rhinitis to asthma.
Immunotherapy is only recommended for rhinitis, asthma, conjunctivitis, and insect allergy. It is not a recommended ENT treatment for food allergies. The decision to start immunotherapy is one made between patient and doctor; that decision should be based on the length and severity of seasons, how effective medications and environmental controls are, and the desire to avoid long term medication usage.
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Prior Allergy Issues
Much like a vaccine, your body responds to the injected amounts of a particular allergen, given in gradually increasing doses by developing a tolerance to the allergen. As a result of your body’s response to these immune changes, immunotherapy causes decreased, minimal or no allergy response when you are exposed to the allergen included in your vaccine.
There are two phases to immunotherapy: a buildup phase and a maintenance phase.
Buildup and Maintenance Phase
The maintenance phase begins when the effective therapeutic dose is reached, which varies from patient to patient, depending on the level of allergen sensitivity and the response to the buildup phase. Maintenance intervals generally range from two to four weeks. The benefits, in terms of reduced allergy symptoms, begin during the buildup phase but may take as long as a year on the maintenance dose. Improvement is expected to be progressive during the treatment period.