For some, allergies are a seasonal issue that comes and goes. For others, it’s a chronic condition. If you’re tired of the side effects of antihistamines, now is the time to begin treating your allergies. With immunotherapy, you can start building a tolerance to your allergens, reducing your symptoms over time.
The providers at ENT of New Orleans, with locations in Marrero, New Orleans, Chalmette, and Harvey, Louisiana, can help provide long-term relief from allergy symptoms with immunotherapy.
The term ‘immunotherapy’ most often refers to cancer treatment, which uses your body’s own immune system to fight cancerous cells.
However, immunotherapy also includes allergy shots, which attempt to desensitize your immune system to common allergens. While someone allergic to certain foods can just avoid those foods, people with allergies to pollen, pet dander, insect venom, and house dust are constantly exposed.
This means chronic allergies, including congestion, headaches, hives, and itchy eyes. While antihistamines can alleviate your symptoms, they do nothing for the allergy itself, and the side effects might not be worth the relief.
Allergy immunotherapy works by exposing your body to small doses of the allergen. This allows your immune system to engage without causing a full-scale allergic reaction. As the doses increase, your body becomes desensitized, reducing the response when you’re fully exposed.
Many people live with chronic allergies for years, avoiding the outdoors, vacuuming daily, and taking antihistamines to reduce symptoms. Immunotherapy can help ease the burden of your allergies, reducing their effect on your life. Long-term benefits include:
If you’re allergic to insect venom, immunotherapy can also reduce the reaction if you’re stung, giving you more time to administer treatment or get to the hospital — potentially saving your life.
Before you can begin immunotherapy, we need to construct your allergy profile. While you might know you’re allergic to pollen or bee stings, it’s important to narrow down exactly what your allergens are.
This is done using a skin test, where we place small amounts of different allergens on your skin. If you develop redness or a rash, that indicates an allergy. At ENT of New Orleans, we perform all diagnostic tests onsite, so the process is quick and easy.
Once we’ve identified your allergens, you can choose between injections or sublingual drops. Getting a shot might be more convenient, but sublingual drops are painless and can be taken home.
It can take time to see results from immunotherapy, possibly even months. Even after your symptoms improve, you have to continue receiving therapy to maintain your results.
To learn more about allergy immunotherapy and find out if it’s right for you, call the location closest to you or request an appointment online.