What is sublingual immunotherapy aka Allergy Drops?
The substances that trigger a patient’s allergy symptoms are called allergens. Immunotherapy treats the cause of allergies by giving small doses of what a person is allergic to. The goal of immunotherapy is to develop tolerance to the allergens that cause your symptoms. Allergy drops have been shown to lead to an alteration of your immune system’s response to naturally occurring allergens. You, in effect, become “immune” to the allergen.
How does the process work?
First, a patient must undergo allergy testing to pinpoint which allergens are causing the symptoms. After that, the allergy nurse will customize a vial of sublingual drops tailored specifically to the patient’s needs. Allergy drops are administered under the tongue on a daily basis. The drops should be applied under the tongue and held there for 2 minutes. Patients take the drops in the comfort of their own home instead of going to the doctor’s office every week for traditional allergy shots. Allergy drops provide autonomy and can be easily incorporated into the patient’s daily routine.
Is sublingual immunotherapy safe?
Yes. The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed sublingual immunotherapy as a viable alternative to traditional allergy shots. Allergy drops have been used for more than 100 years. In the last 30 years, research has shown that sublingual immunotherapy is safe and effective. In fact, allergy drops have been used for decades in Europe and are much more common there than allergy shots.
Does it work?
Symptom relief is achieved more quickly compared to traditional allergy shots which can take 3-6 months before symptom relief is noted. We recommend that patients use sublingual drops for 3-5 years so that the body can build up lasting immunity. About 85-90% of allergic patients on immunotherapy noted significant improvement of their symptoms.
How do I start sublingual immunotherapy?
Schedule an appointment for allergy testing with our Clinical Allergy Specialist at Innovative Express Care. We test for 40 environmental allergens such as molds, trees, grasses, weeds and 24 different foods. The allergy nurse will customize allergy drops specific to your needs.