According to current estimates, as many as 50 million Americans suffer from nasal and sinus congestion known as allergies. If you experience seasonal allergies but don’t have the time or the stomach for weekly shots at your doctor’s office, the solution is under your tongue.
Oral immunotherapy by sublingual drops, commonly referred to as allergy drops, is an individually customized alternative to shots designed to desensitize you to the things that make you sneeze, wheeze, cough, itch, scratch and suffer.
Based on what you are allergic to, sterile extracts are prepared from allergy-producing substances such as pollens, molds, house dust and animal danders. These tailor-made drops are then taken under the tongue in increasingly stronger doses over several months until your maximum or maintenance dose has been achieved.
Allergy drops are convenient for many people because they can be taken at home with a dropper and save patients the travel time needed for regular trips to the doctor’s office for a shot. Oral immunotherapy also carries a much lower risk of anaphylaxis when compared to allergy injections.
Oral allergen immunotherapy works just like a vaccine, as your body responds to the increasing amounts of a particular allergen by developing a tolerance to it. As a result, you will experience far fewer allergy symptoms or none at all. Some patients will stay symptom-free, while others may need to do maintenance drops from time to time.
–This Best Health article courtesy of Jeffrey Gallups, MD, FACS of The ENT Institute