Allergy Desensitization


Sub-lingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) is a fancy name for oral allergy drops that help to teach your immune system not to react to allergies.  You are probably familiar with “allergy shots” and might even remember having to go into the doctor’s office every week to get your shot.  With SLIT, it is easier than ever to cure yourself from obnoxious allergies permanently…and without all the doctor’s visits.

WHAT IS ALLERGY DESENSITIZATION?

SLIT has been around for over 100 years and is currently being used in Europe as a main-stay treatment for environmental allergies.  The treatment involves taking oral drops of the known allergen in gradually increasing doses in order to desensitize the patient.   It is the only known treatment that changes the immune response and treats the cause of allergies rather than the symptoms!

WHO IS AN APPROPRIATE CANDIDATE?

Research studies have proven that oral allergy desensitization is effective for both children and adults. There really isn’t an upper limit or a lower limit for allergy immunotherapy.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

A typical office visit will involve filling out an allergy-specific questionairre that helps our physicians understand what allergy symptoms you are suffering from.  After a thorough intake and physical exam, the doctor will perform an in-office skin-prick test of the top 60 environmental allergens.  This includes all the common allergens such as dust, dust mites, cats, dogs, juniper and other pollen-producing trees and plants.  The skin-prick test is done either on your forearm (in adults) or on your back (in children).  It is more uncomfortable than painful because any of the allergens that you react to will start to create an itchy welt.  Just what we are looking for!

After 15 minutes, the doctor will measure each raised wheel which helps determine how significant of an allergic reaction you have to each substance.  Once the testing is done, you can wash your arm with soap and water and the reaction will stop shortly thereafter.

Now you are ready for treatment!  Once your allergies have been confirmed, the doctor will mix a dose-specific tincture that contains all the allergens that were confirmed on the skin-prick test, as well as all the substances that cross-react with your known allergens.  This provides the most thorough coverage for complete desensitization.  You will walk out of the office with a 3 month supply of allergy drops that you will put under your tongue (1-3 drops) 3 times per day.  After 1 month, you will check back in with your doctor to make sure we are seeing progress in reducing your symptoms.  Then you will follow up after 3 months for a new and higher dose of your allergy drops.  You will continue to come in every 3 months as your dose increases because your body is desensitizing itself!

Ideally, oral allergy drops are taken daily for 3 years for complete elimination of allergies  Although this may sound like a long time, image being 100% allergy-free for the rest of your life, no shots, no more drugs and no more kleenex!  Of course, if you only end up doing the drops for less than 3 years, you will still see improvement in your symptoms, but not necessarily complete resolution.  And you can always restart at any time at the dose you were on before, without needed to go back to the starting dose.

 

If you are tired of sneezing, having a runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, asthma, coughing and congestion…tired of taking a daily anti-histamine and decongestant for 3-6 months out of the year… then come in to the Center for Integrative Medicine for a consultation with Dr. Jocelyn Cooper to see if you are an appropriate candidate for oral allergy drops.

 

Watch this 3 minute video on the benefits of  Oral Allergy Desensitization

 

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