Skip Navigation
Search Menu
Articles & Answers

Ask the Expert

Allergies: Answers from Allergy Expert Dr. Sandra Lin

Print This Page

About 45 million Americans suffer from environmental allergies. Dr. Sandra Lin, a Johns Hopkins allergy expert, answers some of the most commonly asked questions about treating environmental allergies.

Man sneezing outdoors and covering his nose

Reviewed By:

Q: What are the most effective ways to treat seasonal allergies?

A: Allergies are treated with avoidance of the allergen and medications. For those that have symptoms despite these treatments, sublingual immunotherapy is an option.

Q: What is sublingual immunotherapy?

A: Immunotherapy treats the cause of allergies by giving small doses of what a person is allergic to, which increases “immunity” or tolerance to the allergen and reduces the allergic symptoms. Unlike injection immunotherapy, which is given as shots in a doctor’s office, sublingual immunotherapy is given at home as drops or tablets under the tongue.

Q: Do you have any natural remedies that you suggest?

A: Saline washes of the nose are helpful in washing out allergens, and many of my patients find them to be helpful.

Q: Can you allergy-proof your home?

A: Allergy-proofing should be directed toward the allergens you are sensitive to.  Allergy testing can be helpful in this regard. If you are allergic to outdoor allergens such as pollen, keeping the windows closed and running the air conditioning can be helpful.  For pet allergies, keeping the pet out of the bedroom and washing the pet frequently can help.  For those with dust mite allergies, HEPA filters, mattress covers and washing bedding can help.

Video Thumbnail

Meet Dr. Sandra Lin

Johns Hopkins pediatric and adult otolaryngologist Sandra Lin treats disorders of the nose, sinusitis and environmental allergies, including sublingual immunotherapy.

Play Now

Q: What do you think the next important research around allergies and asthma will be?

A: The next important studies, in my opinion, will focus on how we can prevent allergies and asthma. Some studies have shown the immunotherapy can prevent the development of allergic asthma; if we can identify those children at high risk at a young age, we may be able to really impact their lives by preventing the development of asthma and new allergies.

Replacing Shots with Drops: Frequently Asked Questions about Sublingual Immunotherapy

Johns Hopkins is a leader in the treatment of environmental allergies with sublingual immunotherapy. This treatment option allows patients to self-administer daily drops under their tongue instead of going to the doctor for weekly injections. Learn more about this treatment option.

Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) for Allergy Treatment

Johns Hopkins allergist Dr. Sandra Lin answers questions about sublingual immunotherapy. She provides information on how it is used and the advantages of using it instead of other allergy treatments.

More About Allergies

Learn more about environmental allergies in the Johns Hopkins Health Library.

You May Also Like

Senior male peruses the vitamin aisle

Is There Really Any Benefit to Multivitamins?

A recent look at multivitamins by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that there’s no proof of benefit. Find out the one supplement deemed beneficial—and how others failed.

Up-close shot of a woman's face

Decode Your Stress Management Skills

Take this quick quiz to discover what research shows to be the best, heart-friendliest ways to cope with stress in your life.

Senior male carefully reading two prescription bottles

Help for Managing Multiple Medications

Dealing with multiple meds each day—for you or a loved one—can be challenging. But it’s not uncommon. So what can you do to make it easier—and safer? A Johns Hopkins expert shares the tips you need.