Allergies can occur during any stage of your life. Many things can cause allergies, from medication, food allergies to pollen, and pet dander. This only implies that it is not always easy to know the best home remedies or treatments for allergies.
Immunotherapy refers to a preventive allergy treatment for allergies including house dust mites, cat, and dog amongst other allergens. This treatment works by repeatedly delivering allergens to your body, modifying your body’s immune response towards these allergens, and hence desensitizes your body’s immune system to alleviate allergy symptoms.
This treatment is usually more effective in tackling IgE-mediated allergies and is ideal for patients suffering from type one or two allergies.
How is Allergy Immunotherapy administered?
- Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT): Proven to be a highly effective and safe alternative to allergy shots. SLIT is a popular choice among patients as it allows them to administer the medication themselves at home. During this treatment procedure, tablets or sprays containing allergens are administered under the tongue daily.
- Allergy Immunotherapy Shots: Allergy immunotherapy shots are delivered through monthly injection of the standardized high-dose vaccines that contain the allergen, which usually lasts between three and five years. The dosage is then increased gradually to allow your immune system to adapt to it. However, there is a possibility for severe adverse allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. Immunotherapy shots should only be offered by highly trained professionals, such as immunologists or doctors in a controlled environment equipped with resuscitation facilities.
Which allergy treatment should I choose?
When you visit Ear and Allergy clinic, our doctors will discuss with you in detail all you need to know about these two allergy treatments. They will then choose the best treatment that suits your needs and preference.
Am I suitable for Allergy Immunotherapy?
Generally, you are an ideal immunotherapy candidate if:
• You are always exposed to allergens inevitably.
• You have a limited spectrum of allergies.
• Your allergy is related to IgE-mediated allergy conditions, with either RAST blood test or skin prick test.
• You know and understand all the risks and limitations associated with Immunotherapy.
• You are willing to use immunotherapy for an extended period.
• You have previously used conventional medical treatment but have not seen any positive results.
How effective is Allergy Immunotherapy?
Lots of clinical studies have consistently shown that this treatment can result in a significant reduction of allergy- associated symptoms. It will not only help you to feel better but also require less rescue medication.
Immunotherapy guarantees long-term benefits by tackling the root cause of your allergy condition. Numerous medical studies have proven that even after patients stopped immunotherapy, they continue to enjoy the benefits of allergy reduction for between 7 and 8 years.
Allergy immunotherapy is a highly effective allergy treatment for health issues such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, insect sting allergy as well as eczema diseases. It is also effective in tackling airborne allergens such as pet dander or house dust mite. Find out more on allergy testing here.
Are there any side effects from Allergy Immunotherapy?
A major limitation of Immunotherapy Shots is that there is a risk for a potentially fatal systemic allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis. Some of the risk factors may include presence of asthma, a history for systematic reactions as well as a history of high-sensitivity allergen exposure.
If you have any of the above risk factors, you are highly advised to go for Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) instead, which is a safer treatment option with much lower risks. Patients may only experience mild symptoms such as tingling and itching of tongue and mouth, and perhaps slight swelling of either lip or tongue. However, most of these symptoms usually deteriorate with time, usually within one or two weeks after your treatment.
For individuals suffering from allergy, immunotherapy is a highly promising treatment option. What’s more, it safe with very minimal side effects that can easily be managed.