Allergy Drops vs. Allergy Shots
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that allergies impact the lives of more than 50 million Americans, making it the 6th leading cause of chronic illness with a total economic cost of $18 billion dollars to our nation’s economy. According to these statistics, more than a half million of our Athens, Lawrenceville, and Atlanta area neighbors are struggling with the negative impact of allergies on their daily lives. If you are one of these allergy sufferers, then you deserve a life free of allergy symptoms, a life that can be lived to the fullest. The allergy-free life is possible and can be achieved with safe and effective immunotherapy for allergies.
Where do Allergies Come From?
The immune system is the body’s natural defense, protecting it from infection and disease. The immune system guards the body by attacking harmful substances and keeping them under control. However, the immune system is not perfect and sometimes mistakenly attacks a harmless substance (an allergen). The greater Atlanta area has many common allergens throughout the year and with mild winters and warmer spring seasons, seasonal allergies may last longer and increase in intensity. These allergens include:
- Dust mites
- Pollen from trees and flowering plants
- Mold (indoor and outdoor)
- Pet dander from household animals
When an allergen comes in contact with the body, the immune system reacts with an allergy attack. This immune system response will produce allergy symptoms such as:
- Respiratory problems
- Runny nose
- Itchy and watery eyes
Allergy attacks and their symptoms make daily life difficult for allergy sufferers. These symptoms often result in a lack of focus at work/school, decreased enjoyment of outdoor activities, and reduced quality of life. As a result, patients are often motivated to seek symptom relief from over-the-counter (OTC) medications which temporarily mask the symptoms without addressing the underlying cause of the allergy attack.
Immunotherapy: Solutions that work
Immunotherapy for allergies is a systematic treatment plan that gets to the root of the allergy problem and results in long-lasting relief. Unlike OTC medications, immunotherapy works directly with the body’s immune system to prevent the underlying allergy attack. Because each person has a unique allergy profile, the first step in immunotherapy involves in-depth allergy testing to customize an individual treatment plan.
Once a plan is developed, the treatment process begins to slowly and systematically introduce trace amounts of the allergen into the system in order to retrain and empower the immune system; teaching it to reduce and potentially eliminate the attack. Immunotherapy may take three to five years; however, symptoms may begin to reduce in frequency and intensity within the early months.
Immunotherapy: Options that work
Each patient has unique needs and immunotherapy for allergy relief provides options that work for you. An individualized treatment plan will result in greater compliance, higher levels of satisfaction, and better outcomes for each patient. There are two primary immunotherapy treatment options:
Allergy Shots: Subcutaneous Immunotherapy for Allergies (SCIT)
Allergy shots involve receiving treatment shots in the doctor’s office on a regular schedule. Early in the process, this may require weekly or bi-weekly visits to the office; however, the schedule may become less frequent as the immune system responds to treatment. Allergy shots are a safe and effective solution for long-term allergy relief.
Allergy Drops: Sublingual Immunotherapy for Allergies (SLIT)
Allergy drops involve the same testing and treatment planning as allergy shots; however, the patient can self-administer the treatment from the comfort of home, the office, or any place and time that is convenient.
The allergy drop treatment plan involves following a daily schedule to slowly and safely introduce the allergen into the body, reprograming the immune system to respond naturally to harmless allergens.
Allergy Drops: Advantages that Work
For most patients, sublingual immunotherapy has distinct advantages that result in a safer, more effective, and convenient process. Some of the most impactful advantages of allergy drops include:
- All Natural: Unlike pharmaceutical medications, drops are made from all-natural extracts of allergens such as pet dander, mold, dust, and pollen.
- Safe: Drops are administered daily in trace amounts, reducing the risk of an allergic reaction to treatment. Reports of anaphylactic reactions to allergy shots are very rare (3 in 1 million); however, there are no reports of anaphylactic reactions to allergy drops.
- Effective: A daily treatment schedule results in a rapid immune response. Often symptom reduction is experienced within the first month. Sublingual immunotherapy has been used for more than a century and scientific evidence is continuing to show that this is a very effective treatment plan.
- Convenient: One of the most exciting advantages is that it works with your busy schedule. No more weekly or monthly office visits, no more office waiting rooms, no more hours stuck in traffic, no more missed school or work appointments, no more living your life around your treatment schedule.
- Cost: Allergy shots are comparable in cost to the co-pay and treatment costs of allergy shots. Additional savings are experienced through reduced reliance on OTC medications, less transportation expense for office visits, fewer hours of missed work, as well as the reclaimed value of your precious time.
Sublingual immunotherapy for allergies is a solution that has worked for allergy sufferers across Athens, Lawrenceville, and the greater Atlanta area and it can work for you. If you are ready to experience fewer symptoms and begin attacking the root-cause of your allergy problems, schedule an appointment with Sleep and Sinus Centers of Georgia today.