Watery eyes, wheezing, rashes or hives are all symptoms of allergies. To try and find out why your symptoms are happening, you can see your doctor to find out if allergies are the cause. While allergy testing can take the guesswork out of the cause of your reactions, it’s the first step for the right allergy treatment solution. The following are some of the top allergy testing benefits:
- Eliminate suspected allergens
- Learn treatment options
- Discover lifestyle changes
- Learn if you need to control your environment (i.e., use filters, wear protective clothing, etc.)
- Find out if eating habits may be part of the problem
What Type of Testing Do I Have to Do?
At New Freedom Family Medicine, we use skin testing to determine what you are allergic to and how allergic you are. Keep in mind that the optimal time to perform the skin test is when you can stop your allergy medical for five to seven days.
After getting the testing results, Dr. Allen will prescribe oral drop therapy based on your allergy profile, and you will receive the drops directly from the pharmacy. Also, allergy drops are given under the tongue in gradually increasing dosages which helps you build a tolerance to the allergy-causing substance. Note that most of our New Freedom Family Medicine patients take three drops per day.
We’ve found that allergy drop treatment reduces allergy symptoms as effectively as allergy shots, at substantial savings.
Then, we repeat the allergy testing after you are on allergy treatment, usually every six to twelve months.
How Do Allergy Drops Work?
Sublingual immunotherapy, also called allergy drops, works like allergy shots by gradually helping your body build a tolerance to the substance(s) that cause your allergies. The difference is that the antigen (allergy-causing substance) is placed under your tongue in the form of a liquid drop and affects the immune system through very specialized cells found there.
The area under the tongue is called the sublingual mucosa and has the highest concentration of antigen/allergen presenting cells found anywhere in the body. This cell, called the dendritic cell, is the messenger that delivers antigens to the cells that enable allergy tolerance. By delivering daily allergy drops consistently to this cell, the body begins to tolerate things that cause allergic reactions.
Patients take allergy drops three times each day for three to five years, though some patients with more severe allergies or who don’t adhere to treatment plans may need more prolonged treatment. Many people feel better within a few months, but sticking with the treatment is necessary to stay symptom-free after a physician determines that allergy drop treatment is complete.
What Are the Advantages of Allergy Drops?
Doctors use allergy drops to treat patients of all ages safely and effectively. There are other advantages to allergy drops, including:
- Drops treat the cause of allergies, not just temporary symptoms. The goal of allergy drops is to help patients build long-term tolerance to allergens, so ongoing treatment and medication are no longer needed.
- Allergy drops are affordable and convenient. Compared to other therapies, allergy drops are less expensive and require fewer office visits. And you can take your drops when and where it’s most convenient for you (work, school, sports practice, vacation, etc.).
- Drops result in less medication. Patients report, and research shows, that allergy-related medication use typically decreases after using drops, resulting in savings and lower dependence on medicine.
- Allergy drops support a better quality of life. The end benefit of allergy drop treatment is feeling better and enjoying life. That means fewer related hospital and clinic visits and less time away from work or school.
Who Can Benefit From Allergy Treatment Drops?
Although most people with allergies can benefit from allergy drops, they’re ideal for those who can’t tolerate or don’t respond to an allergy shot. Those who cannot commit to allergy shot therapy may also be prime candidates. Others include:
- Infants and children
- People with highly sensitive conditions
- Those who are needle phobic
- People with chronic conditions, including sinusitis
- Individuals with food and mold allergies
- Those with multiple allergies, including dust, pollen, foods, and animals
It’s important to note that allergy drops have proven helpful for children. Especially those with eczema and frequent ear infections, which often have underlying allergic causes. Research shows that many children with untreated eczema and allergies often develop asthma and other chronic conditions later in life. As a result, treating them early can have life-long benefits and may prevent the development of other allergies and asthma.
Are Allergy Treatment Drops Safe and Effective?
For over 100 years, doctors and patients have used allergy drops. And numerous studies show that allergy drops are safe and effective. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed sublingual immunotherapy as an alternative to allergy shots.
Furthermore, dosing levels and how doctors administer the drops are safe enough to treat patients of all ages effectively. That includes infants, children, and people with chronic conditions who may have been unable to receive immunotherapy by a shot.
The Cochrane Collaboration is the world’s most-trusted international organization dedicated to reviewing healthcare treatments. And they concluded that allergy drops significantly reduced allergy symptoms and the use of allergy medications. In 2013, the Agency for Healthcare Quality Research published a review examining studies that used both sublingual and subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shot) treatments. Reviewers found sufficient evidence to support the effectiveness and safety of subcutaneous and sublingual immunotherapy for treating allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma.
Ready to Live A Better Life?
If you suffer from allergies, contact New Freedom Family Medicine. With offices in Hermann, Washington, and O’Fallon, Missouri, we are here to help you find the cause of your symptoms. Then we will create a custom allergy treatment plan for you. Contact us today to get started.
Citation: Some parts reprinted with permission from Allergychoices, Inc.