Allergies are one of the leading causes of chronic illness in the United States, and more than 50 million Americans experience allergies every year. However, many people react poorly to antihistamines and wish there was a more effective treatment for seasonal allergies. Fortunately, there is. Immunotherapy can desensitize you to allergens, so you can better manage the symptoms.
At ENT of New Orleans, with four locations in the Greater New Orleans area, our team of providers can deliver lasting allergy relief with immunotherapy.
The concept of immunotherapy is simple. By desensitizing you to your allergens, you can reduce your immune system’s response.
This is done by exposing you to increasing amounts of allergens over time. Your doctor starts small and slowly increases the dose as you become less sensitive.
Immunotherapy is often done with injections, but you can ask about sublingual immunotherapy (under-the-tongue drops). Allergy shots can reduce your reactions to many allergens, including:
However, immunotherapy is not effective in treating allergies to food and medications. You should continue avoiding these foods and drugs, even if you receive immunotherapy for other allergens.
The first step in immunotherapy is diagnosing your allergens. This is done through skin testing. Small samples of different allergens are placed on your skin, and your reaction is documented. If your skin reacts to an allergen, it means you’re sensitive to it.
Once your provider knows what you’re allergic to, your provider creates your immunotherapy plan. Depending on your preferences, you might be given injections or sublingual drops. Some people choose both to boost their results. Injections are given at the clinic during periodic visits, while sublingual drops can be administered at home.
Immunotherapy is good for people who:
However, it’s important to remember that immunotherapy isn’t an immediate treatment. You’ll still need antihistamines or other allergy treatments in the meantime. Depending on the severity of your allergies, it may take months or even years to begin seeing the full range of results.
Are you ready to begin your immunotherapy journey? To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with ENT of New Orleans today.