For some, allergies are a seasonal occurrence that cause a bit of congestion. For others, it’s a constant uphill battle to control their symptoms, and side effects of medications like antihistamines only add to the problem. If your allergy triggers are strong and hard to avoid, it might be wise to begin desensitizing your body’s reactions to them sooner rather than later.
SLENT has several locations, in Slidell, Hammond, and Mandeville, Louisiana, and our otolaryngology specialists can test for allergies, provide allergy control and management, and deliver immunotherapy treatment if your provider believes your allergies will benefit.
How immunotherapy works
Chances are, you’re familiar with exposure therapy in some capacity. This refers specifically to a concept in psychology, but immunotherapy takes a similar approach to dealing with allergies.
Immunotherapy is performed by extracting the allergen and delivering it in small doses, enough to stimulate the immune system without triggering a full reaction. Over time, we increase the doses until you’re able to encounter the allergen without experiencing the full range of symptoms. You’ll continue being allergic, but your reaction will be less severe.
Immunotherapy is administered through allergy shots or sublingual drops.
When to consider immunotherapy
Before you can receive immunotherapy, you’ll need to undergo a full allergy testing panel to diagnose which allergens you’re sensitive to. Proper testing is vital to the success of your treatment, and it’s important that you’re aware of all possible triggers.
Allergy shots are most effective in treating airborne allergens and insect venom. If you have any food allergies, you should continue avoiding those trigger foods.
Immunotherapy is not a cure for allergies, but rather a preventative measure against anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening allergic reaction. While it can help you build some resistance against seasonal allergies and hay fever, food allergies are typically stronger than those caused by pollen, pet dander, and bee stings.
Allergen immunotherapy is a process that can take time to become effective. A single shot is not enough to reduce symptoms, and you might need to continue receiving injections or drops for months or years until you see significant improvement.
If your allergies consist of the occasional congestion and allergic rhinitis, you might benefit more from more traditional allergy medication. At SLENT, we can help determine exactly what you’re allergic to, and whether immunotherapy is right for you.
To schedule a consultation, call the location closest to you, or visit the contact page for more options.