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Allergy Shots or Allergy Drops?

Published on Nov 02, 2011 with 0 comment

Immunotherapy, or desensitization, is the cornerstone in the treatment of allergies in both children and adults.  Popularly known as “allergy shots”, this treatment modality works by exposing an allergic individual to minute amounts of the substance(s) to which he or she is allergic and increasing the dose over months to years in order to induce an increased state of tolerance to the allergen(s).  This form of treatment is most commonly used to desensitize one to inhaled allergens such as dust mites, animal dander, mold spores, and pollen, but it is now being used very successfully to desensitize highly allergic individuals to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, and other foods.

Immunotherapy has been in clinical practice for over one hundred years. In the U.S., it is most commonly administered by injection.  It is estimated that 2.5-3.0 million children and adults are receiving injection therapy and that 40-60 million allergy shots are given annually in the U.S. alone.

In Europe and other parts of the world, immunotherapy is commonly administered sublingually, or as drops under the tongue.  The safety and efficacy of the sublingual route of administration is presently being researched in the U.S., but the data so far has been very positive and encouraging.  As a result, more and more allergists are now offering sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, to their allergic patients as an alternative to allergy shots.  For further information on sublingual immunotherapy, TheOnlineAllergist recommends http://www.theonlineallergist.com/article/sublingual-immunotherapy-has-its-time-come.

Allergy shots or allergy drops are an important treatment option in the treatment of allergies, and sometimes allergy induced asthma.  Consultation with a board certified allergist is in order for those seeking long term or permanent relief from their allergy symptoms.


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