A woman blows her nose at her desk.
A woman blows her nose at her desk.
A woman blows her nose at her desk.

Could Allergy Drops Be the Key to Allergy Relief?

Photo of Dr. Sandra Lin

Reviewed By:

Sandra Lin, M.D.

If you’re one of 45 million Americans suffering from allergies, you know all too well how debilitating they are. You scoff at the idea of going for a walk or driving with the windows down. Short of locking yourself into a HEPA-filtered fortress, you know you will meet the season with, a stuffy, runny nose and swollen, itchy eyes. “Environmental allergies have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life, and in children, they can affect school performance,” says Sandra Lin, M.D., an environmental allergy expert at Johns Hopkins. “Fortunately, there are effective treatments for environmental allergies, including allergy immunotherapy.”

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Fight Back Against Your Allergies

Rather than suffer through allergy season, many people are choosing to fight back using immunotherapy, a treatment that works to boost your immune system and change the way your body responds to allergens. This treatment involves gradually introducing small amounts of what you’re allergic to. This slow introduction helps to build a healthy immune response and tells your body: “This is no big deal. Quit overreacting!”

While you might choose immunotherapy to treat your allergies, it can be time-consuming and painful. You must visit your doctor’s office every week for a shot and remain there under supervision for at least 30 minutes after treatment.”

Treatment in the Comfort of Your Own Home

A new therapy, known as sublingual immunotherapy, does not require frequent doctors’ appointments or supervision. “Sublingual immunotherapy involves daily administration of allergy drops given at home. The patient is treated with the allergens he or she is sensitized to, and over time, he or she becomes more tolerant of those allergens. This means the patient will require less allergy medication and have fewer allergy symptoms,” Lin explains. “Our office started offering sublingual immunotherapy as a treatment option for our patients in 2008. We are now one of the leading centers in the United States for sublingual immunotherapy.”

Sublingual immunotherapy, which means “under-the-tongue therapy,” allows you to place drops under your tongue each day from the comfort of your own home. No weekly appointments are required, and no doctor supervision is needed after each treatment. Sublingual immunotherapy is a great option for children too, for whom treatment has shown to be safe and effective.

How to Get Started with Sublingual Immunotherapy

Before beginning treatment, your allergy expert must conduct an allergy test. Once your allergy test is completed and she knows exactly what you’re allergic to, she creates your custom blend of drops. Allergic to cats? No problem. Allergic to dust? You’re covered.

So if you’ve been plagued by allergies all of your life, you may find relief through sublingual immunotherapy. This treatment is a painless and more convenient option compared to traditional shots. It gives your body the tools it needs to fight back against your worst allergies.

Definitions

Immune response: How your immune system recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, toxins and other harmful substances. A response can include anything from coughing and sneezing to an increase in white blood cells, which attack foreign substances.
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