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Get the Jump on Fall Allergies Through Immunotherapy

An estimated one in four people will experience allergies at some point, but pollen spores can cause more than just a runny nose. Allergies can cause headaches, hay fever, and even temporary hearing loss. Fortunately, taking over-the-counter antihistamines isn’t the only option for dealing with allergies.

Immunotherapy may be able to give you long-term relief from allergy symptoms. Instead of just subduing your symptoms, immunotherapy boosts your body’s tolerance to allergens. The ear, nose, and throat specialists at ENT of New Orleans, with offices in New Orleans and Marrero, Louisiana, are experts at providing immunotherapy. 

In this blog, they explain what immunotherapy is. If you start immunotherapy now, you can be well-prepared by the time the fall allergy season strikes. 

Common causes of seasonal allergies 

An allergic reaction is your body’s immune response to a substance that isn’t typically harmful, but that it still sees as a threat, such as pet dander, insect venom, or pollen.

Depending on the severity of your seasonal allergies, your body’s overreaction may result in hay fever — runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, and sinus pressure — or more serious reactions. Hay fever can easily be mistaken for a cold or flu, but it has the following three distinctions:

While many people seek antihistamines from a doctor or pharmacy to treat allergies, these drugs only mask the symptoms and are only effective for a limited time. Immunotherapy, on the other hand, helps you build up a resistance to the allergens to give you relief in the long term. Furthermore, with immunotherapy, you can start treatment early to prepare for the season that affects you.

How immunotherapy helps build your resistance to allergens 

Immunotherapy is a proactive, preventative treatment that builds up your resistance to certain allergens. By exposing you to the substances you're allergic to in small amounts, your immune system can be trained to ignore the allergens or react less intensely to them. Over time, your doctor will increase the doses of specific allergens and help you build up your tolerance levels even more.

Allergy immunotherapy is available for many common allergens, such as bee venom, dust mites, grass pollen, and ragweed. Your doctor will first administer a test to determine exactly what triggers your allergies. Then your doctor will begin administering small doses of that specific allergen.  

Unlike antihistamines, immunotherapy won’t make you drowsy and won’t wear off in a matter of hours. If you dread the fall season due to allergies, immunotherapy can help you build up a tolerance to the allergens that affect you, so you can enjoy the autumnal outdoors once again.

To learn more about immunotherapy and to see if it can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with ENT of New Orleans today.

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