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It’s estimated that nasal allergies affect approximately 50 million people in the United States, and the numbers are growing. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system has an exaggerated reaction to a usually harmless substance. Common allergens include dustmites, molds, pollen, pet fur and dander, stinging insects and food. In allergic individuals, the body reacts to the trigger by releasing chemicals, one of which is histamine. Symptoms include runny nose, congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, and ear popping. Asthma symptomsmay also occur.
Allergy immunotherapy (allergy shot or sublingual drops) is the single-most effective treatment available for allergies. It boasts a 95% success rate in reducing allergy symptoms vs medication at 50%. Immunotherapy involves giving gradually increasing doses of the substance, or allergen, to which the person is allergic. The incremental increases cause the immune system to become less sensitive to the substance, which reduces allergy symptoms when the substance is encountered in the future. Immunotherapy also reduces the inflammation that characterizes rhinitis and asthma.
Before treatment, patients undergo skin or blood tests to confirm the specific allergen to which the patient has antibodies. Immunotherapy is usually recommended for patients with sensitivity to several allergens. In most cases, immunotherapy is administered via a weekly injection. A standard course of treatment last 2-5 years
At Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat Associates, our expert allergy team offers support,education, and a seamless transition throughout the allergy treatment process.