Have you ever wanted relief from your allergy symptoms without the pain and hassle of injections? If so, tablets that dissolve under the tongue known as sublingual immunotherapy may be right for you.
Allergies occur when your body mistakes a harmless substance as a threat and attacks. Your body produces antibodies to fight off the substance, causing:
- Runny, stuffy nose
- Itching nose, eyes and roof of mouth
- Red and watery eyes
Reactions can range from mild to life threatening and can be caused by almost any substance. The most common allergy triggers are:
- Animal dander
- Dust mites
- Certain foods
- Insect stings
How Allergies Are Treated
In order to put together a treatment plan, your doctor will first need to know what you are allergic to. This is determined through skin prick, intradermal and blood tests.
Many can treat their allergy symptoms with avoidance and medications. But for those with severe allergies or who do not benefit from traditional treatment, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy involves introducing a small amount of the substance you are allergic to, enough to stimulate your immune system but not enough to cause an allergic reaction. Over time your body gets used to the allergens and you build up a tolerance. This helps decrease your allergy symptoms.
While most are familiar with allergy shots, known as subcutaneous immunotherapy, sublingual immunotherapy is gaining popularity.
This form of immunotherapy uses tablets or drops placed under the tongue to administer the allergen. They are primarily used for allergies to ragweed, dust mites and northern pasture grasses.
Users are instructed to place the prepared drop or tablet under the tongue for a few minutes before swallowing. Based on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor will have you do this three to seven days a week. The entire process takes three to five years to develop a lasting immunity.
The tablet should be taken before the start of allergy season for grass and ragweed allergies; dust mite allergies require treatment year-round.
Clinical research conducted over the last 20 years has determinized that sublingual immunotherapy is effective at treating rhinitis and asthma caused by allergies to dust mites, grass, ragweed, cat dander and tree pollens.
Research is still being conducted to determine if allergy tablets are effective at treating red, itchy eyes caused by pollen during hay fever season as well as mild eczema in response to food allergies.
Unlike allergy shots, sublingual immunotherapy is administered at home without direct medical supervision. But with proper instruction from your doctor as well as a plan for treating any unexpected adverse reactions, the process is safe.
To learn more about available allergy treatments or to schedule an appointment with an expert, contact Waco Ear, Nose & Throat today.