Allergies are not curable but they are controllable. Most allergies are brought under control by three methods:
- Desensitization shots (in some cases)
Proper treatment of allergies requires understanding, compassion and patience. There are no quick fixes. We will provide you with educational materials; please use them. The more you know, the better you will be able to cope with your allergy problems.
Not all allergic patients need to be treated with desensitization shots, but many allergic patients need shots to bring their symptoms under control. Desensitization shots consist of weekly injections of the allergens to which you are allergic. They are 80 percent effective in relieving pollen- and dust mite-induced nasal and asthma symptoms. The usual routine is one shot per week for the first seven to 24 months until a maintenance concentration is reached. As you improve, the interval will be increased to two, then three and then four weeks. The length of the shot program varies, but you should anticipate a five-year program. Your allergy symptoms may stay away for many years after these five-year shots. Occasionally, symptoms may recur after stopping shots. In this case, shots may have to be restarted.
You may receive these injections in this office or we will mail the extract to you for injection by your family physician. Because of the possibility of a severe systemic reaction, we prefer that a physician or nurse administer these shots. We do not want you to give shots to yourself, and we discourage parents from giving their children shots. It is necessary to remain in the office 30 minutes after your injection so that we may check your arm for any local reaction or other symptoms before you leave.
If you have a cold, moderate allergic symptoms, wheezing or a sinus infection, you are more likely to get a systemic allergic reaction. This happens rarely. A systemic reaction can consist of wheezing, a drop in blood pressure, itching, sneezing or other symptoms. If you are ill, rather than receiving your shot, you should see your doctor to get your problem back under control. You can safely resume your shots the next time.
ORAL THERAPY FOR GRASS AND RAGWEED ALLERGY SUFFERERS
In early April 2014, the FDA approved oral under-the-tongue dissolving tablets for treating grass pollen (May-June) and ragweed pollen (August-September) nose and eye allergies. Dust mite tablets are pending approval. These are taken daily. The first dose is supervised at the allergists’ offices. The rest are given at home. Treatment may be started before the season (by three to four months) or daily throughout the year. Side effects include mouth/throat/ear itching, swelling or pain. Please contact us for further details!