Allergies are a constant source of aggravation for many people in Atlanta and beyond. However, the number of individuals actively seeking treatment for the various types of allergies is minimal in comparison. While many assume that seasonal and other allergies are just a part of life, there are treatments that can provide much-needed relief. One of these options is called allergy desensitization, and it could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
What Is Allergy Desensitization?
Desensitization, also known as immunotherapy or allergy shots, is a process for building tolerance towards a specific allergen. An allergic reaction occurs because the immune system mistakenly believes an allergen poses a threat. Allergy desensitization involves receiving small doses of the allergen to train the body not to react to its presence. For allergy sufferers, this means a greatly reduced risk of allergic reactions and anaphylaxis.
Types of Allergy Desensitization
Immunotherapy can be administered in two different ways. Subcutaneous immunotherapy involves receiving injections of the allergen, whereas sublingual immunotherapy involves taking drops of the allergen. There are various studies into both types of immunotherapy, with results determining either equal efficacy or a slight preference for allergy shots. One study also found that allergy shots were more effective for patients with asthma.
An alternate approach to traditional allergy shots is called rush immunotherapy. The difference between allergy shots and rush immunotherapy comes down to the duration of the buildup phase. For rush immunotherapy, the buildup phase typically lasts four to six weeks rather than four to six months.
While rush immunotherapy is an effective way to speed up the desensitization process, because there is an increased possibility of experiencing an allergic reaction, you should discuss your suitability with an allergist.
The Effectiveness of Allergy Desensitization
Allergy desensitization has proven to be an effective treatment for allergies, providing long-term benefits after maintenance has been completed. This result contrasts with allergy medication, which ceases to offer benefits after any medication is stopped. For example, one study found that immunotherapy led to long-term benefits, including a reduction in the development of asthma in children.
A further study found that quality of life for individuals with moderate grass pollen allergies was raised after two doses of grass pollen. Patients experienced a 32% decrease in symptoms during peak pollen season, and less need for allergy medication. Across the many clinical studies into immunotherapy, the treatment has been shown to be effective for many people experiencing pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, insect venom and other allergies. Speak to your allergist to find out if immunotherapy is the right treatment for you.
Find the Best Treatment Plan for Your Allergies
Do you need help finding the best treatment for your allergy? Dr. Chacko has helped many people overcome persistent allergies with desensitization and other treatments. Visit us at one of our locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. For an appointment, call (678) 668-4688 or request help online.