What Are the Differences Between Immunotherapy and Oral Immunotherapy?
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Allergies are a frustrating part of life for a huge number of people in Atlanta and across the country as well. In the most severe cases allergies can be life-threatening, requiring careful monitoring and even lifestyle changes. Because of the frequency of allergies throughout the population, it means that there is continuous research and development in the field. You may have heard of immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy treatment, and naturally wonder if these treatment methods could help you. First, it is important to understand just what these treatments are, and which allergies they can treat.
Immunotherapy is a gradual treatment of allergy shots that contain small amounts of the offending allergen. A patient receives weekly allergy shots during a build-up phase before moving to monthly maintenance treatment. Immunotherapy encourages the body’s immune system to adjust its reaction to the substances that cause an allergic reaction. First, the allergy tests determine the cause of a reaction, and monitoring ensures your body reacts favorably. Working with an experienced allergist ensures a proper diagnosis, reduces risks to the patient, and can deliver the desired results.
What Type of Allergies Can Immunotherapy Treat?
Immunotherapy won’t cure allergies, but it can increase tolerance levels and reduce the risks of serious allergic reactions. This treatment works for a number of allergies including the following.
- Insect bites
- Allergic rhinitis
- Allergic asthma
- Seasonal Allergies
Treatment for seasonal allergies – which are impacting pretty much everyone in the Atlanta area right now – is quite a popular request. And in fact, while it may seem that spring and summer are the most troubling time for seasonal allergies sufferers, the fall season comes with its own allergy triggers.
Oral Immunotherapy Treatment
Oral immunotherapy involves consuming small amounts of the food that causes the allergic reaction. While being carefully monitored by an allergist, the patient goes through a build-up day. During this treatment, the patient consumes small amounts of the allergen under observation. The following doses are then consumed at home, with regular office appointments with Dr. Chacko to monitor results. The process desensitizes the patient to the allergen over time, thereby reducing the risk of severe reactions and helping to relieve stress as well.
What Type of Allergies Can Oral Immunotherapy Treat?
Oral immunotherapy, similar to immunotherapy, is not a cure, but works to reduce the sensitivity of the immune system and provide peace of mind. The treatment can help with IgE-mediated food allergies, such as the following.
- Tree nut
Peanut allergy and tree nut allergy treatment are two of the most common requests today, especially with young children. This is because the reactions to these allergens can be truly life-threatening and escalate into anaphylaxis (anaphylactic shock) quite quickly.
Is Immunotherapy or Oral Immunotherapy Right for You?
Immunotherapy and oral immunotherapy provide similar results for different types of allergic substances. Both treatments aim to desensitize the immune system and reduce the risks of allergic reaction. While a patient won’t be cured, they can reach a point where there will be much less fear about the food they eat, and more freedom in the environments they allow themselves or their children to be in. Treatments are proving effective for many patients, but it is essential to work closely with a qualified allergist throughout the entire process.
Treating Your Allergies Is Doable
If you are suffering with allergies and want to take positive steps forward, request an appointment with Dr. Chacko today. Our allergy treatment centers are located in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Call Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center today at 678-668-4688 to make an appointment.