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How Can Sublingual Immunotherapy Help My Allergies?

How Can Sublingual Immunotherapy Help My Allergies?

Immunotherapy treats the underlying cause of allergies by exposing you to small doses of your specific allergen, which builds up your tolerance to the trigger and reduces allergic symptoms. Here at Memorial Village Sinus & Hearing, Dr. Conrad McCutcheon and our team offer two types of immunotherapy: allergy shots and allergy drops.

In this post, we zero in on allergy drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy, and explain how this remarkable treatment can provide relief from your allergy symptoms.

What is sublingual immunotherapy? 

Sublingual immunotherapy 一 sometimes abbreviated as SLIT 一 is a type of immunotherapy that’s administered under your tongue (“lingual” refers to your tongue). This type of therapy can include tablets and drops, both of which you place under your tongue to be absorbed into your body. 

Sublingual immunotherapy is customized based on what type of allergies you have. Your allergy drops are custom-mixed to target your allergens, such as ragweed, dust, or other grasses. 

How sublingual immunotherapy helps with allergies

Immunotherapy doesn’t just cover up your symptoms. The goal is to treat the condition itself by slowly desensitizing your body. When your body is exposed to a large amount of your allergen (such as the air on a high-pollen day), your immune system reacts with itchy, watery eyes, congestion, and sneezing.

When you’re exposed to a small amount of allergen, your body doesn’t react the same way. Exposure to small amounts doesn’t trigger an immune response. Instead, your body starts to tolerate it. This is called desensitization. Over time, you experience fewer and fewer allergy symptoms when you’re exposed to large amounts of your allergen. 

What to expect with sublingual immunotherapy

Before you can get started with allergy drops, we confirm what your specific allergies are through allergy testing. Once we identify which allergens affect you, we create a custom-mixed vial of drops. You take your first dose at our office.

Escalation phase

You take the drops under your tongue daily, with the dose increasing during the initial phase of your treatment. Your prescription increases every six weeks until you reach a symptom-relieving dose.

Maintenance phase

When you reach that point, you take the same dose each day. You may be in this phase for a few years to become desensitized to your allergy triggers.

Benefits of sublingual immunotherapy

Unmanaged allergies can cause a host of unwanted issues, such as:

Immunotherapy can help you reduce these symptoms. It’s particularly useful if you can’t take traditional allergy medication or if the medication isn’t enough to alleviate your symptoms. Allergy drops:

Not only does sublingual immunotherapy provide immunotherapy without the need for injections, but it also builds up tolerance faster than allergy shots. 

According to research published in Frontiers in Immunotherapy, the amount of allergen concentration in sublingual tablets is 100-fold more than that delivered via subcutaneous injections. Because more allergen compounds are consumed, it establishes tolerance faster. 

If you’d like to learn more about sublingual immunotherapy, call our Houston, Texas, office at 281-822-3777. You can also request an appointment online and get the allergy relief you’ve been seeking.

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