Have you heard of allergy immunotherapy?
Many allergy sufferers go their whole lives simply masking their allergy symptoms without addressing the underlying cause of those symptoms: the allergy itself. But, in the same way you might take antibiotics to treat an infection causing unpleasant symptoms, shouldn’t those with allergies treat the allergy to stop the daily sneezing, itching, and other symptoms?
Allergy immunotherapy was introduced in the early 1900s to do just that, and it is still used today as the only disease-modifying treatment in the allergy world. It originated as an injection-based treatment, where allergens were injected into those with allergies to overcome an abnormal immune response.
While allergy injections are still a popular form of immunotherapy today, allergy drops have been growing in popularity over the last few decades as an alternative to the injectable form of immunotherapy.
What are allergy drops?
Allergy drops are a form of allergy immunotherapy that are administered sublingually, or under the tongue. Like immunotherapy in injection form, allergy drops treat the root cause of allergies instead of just masking the symptoms like an antihistamine or other oral medication would.
There are a few key benefits of allergy drops — other than the long-term treatment of allergies, of course — that make it a favorable solution for those wanting to try immunotherapy but don’t have the time, access, or comfort with injections that allergy injections require.
First, allergy drops are convenient. You don’t have to visit a doctor’s office every week or so to get your required dose. Allergy drop regimens involve daily sublingual administration over several years, depending on the type and severity of the allergy.
Second, allergy drops are very safe and cause little to no reaction. Some may experience some itchiness in the mouth or lips, but the potential benefits of allergy drops far outweigh the risk of these minor side effects.
Third, allergy drops are a great option for those with needle phobia or those looking for a pain-free way to do allergy immunotherapy. And, sublingual drops are effective for the treatment of allergies.
Lastly, contrary to popular belief, allergy drops are affordable and are even sometimes less expensive than over-the-counter medication, like antihistamines or decongestants. They can also save you money in the long run by treating the underlying allergy that you’d otherwise need to spend money on medication to manage for potentially decades.
How does allergy drop therapy work?
Similar to allergy injections, allergy drops work by introducing a small amount of whatever you’re allergic to into the bloodstream, training the body to reduce the reaction to the allergen over time. As the body reacts to the administered allergen, it begins to produce allergen-specific antibodies (IgE), which decrease the sensitivity of your body to the specific allergens.
As the body gets used to the small amount of allergen it’s receiving through allergy drops, the dose is gradually increased, helping to strengthen the immune system’s response to the allergen and slowly reducing the symptoms of the allergy.
While most people experience symptom relief within 3-6 months, it can take 3-5 years to get the long-term effects of symptom relief.
What allergies can allergy drops treat?
Almost anyone suffering from allergy symptoms or allergic rhinitis can benefit from allergy drop therapy, but it can’t treat every allergy. Allergies to things like pet dander, pollen, molds, and other seasonal or airborne allergens can be effectively treated with allergy drops, but immunotherapy is not currently approved to treat food or medication allergies.
One of the unique benefits of allergy drops is that they can work to treat allergies to multiple allergens in one dose, so, if you suffer from multiple allergies, your allergy drop formula can be mixed to address your specific case.
Are allergy drops right for you?
If you’re interested in seeing if allergy drop therapy could be an option to treat your allergies, contact your primary care provider and see if they’re using Allercare’s innovative allergy testing and treatment system.
And, if you’re a doctor looking to boost retention and engagement with your patients through the administration of allergy treatment, contact us today.