Airborne allergies, also called inhalant allergies, are typical seasonal allergies or “hayfever” that many suffer in the spring when grass pollen is prevalent, and in the fall when weeds such as ragweed pollen is in the air, and November to February in Texas when mountain cedar is prevalent. Usual symptoms consist of nasal blockage, itchy runny nose, and eye itching. Seasonal asthma is less common. These seasonal allergies change with the direction of the wind, usually decrease when indoors and when traveling to another area. Some airborne allergy symptoms can be intermittent perennial, especially from animal dander such as cat, from house dust mites in bedding, and from mold, especially if there has been a faulty air conditioner with high humidity levels at home, work or school.
The immune system makes an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which reacts to airborne allergens. This antibody can be detected with a high level of accuracy in a blood test. Skin testing is also a reliable test, when performed by an experienced allergy tech.
Medications such as nasal steroid sprays, antihistamines and oral steroids are temporarily effective, When these medications are needed perennially, all days, all seasons, all year..... the problem is most likely a T cell mediated delayed food allergy, and airborne allergy management, immunotherapy and medications, is of little help.
They are drops of offending allergen, food or airborne, placed under the tongue, creating allergen tolerance.
Like allergy shots, allergy drops use FDA approved antigen extracts to create a custom made solution for each patient. In the United States, an increasing number of patients have received benefit from allergy drops. In much of Europe, allergy drop therapy is used more often than shots. Like a series of allergy shots, allergy drops are used to gradually build allergen tolerance over several years.
Receptors under the tongue called Langerhans Giant Cells take up and partially digest protein molecules in the allergy drop solution and present them to immune system T cells. These T-regulatory cells induce ALLERgen TOLerance. They do this by training the immune system by a process called “down regulation”. Each time an allergy drop is placed under the tongue, the immune system becomes more tolerant. This results in significant symptom reduction and less need for medications and procedures.
Allergy drops are administered at home, saving time and travel cost. The out of pocket cost is low, especially considering less need for medications and doctor trips. Allergy drop therapy has been safely administered in the U.S. and in Europe. A literature review by Southwestern Medical School in Dallas revealed no severe life-threatening reactions in 15 consecutive years of allergy drop therapy worldwide. Self limiting adverse reactions have been reported in less than 3 in 1000 doses. Studies have shown that the development of asthma is many times less likely to develop in children that receive allergy drop therapy. Because allergy drops are painless, they are an ideal allergy solution for children and infants. Long-term compliance is as high as 95%.
There are, several factors that make allergy drops a viable alternative to shots, as recommended by the World Health Organization and the Cochrane Study Group out of London.
Testing for common regional airborne allergies can be done with an IgE blood test, which is not affected by medications. Skin testing by an experienced medical professional is an alternative; this requires avoidance of allergy medications including antihistamines and steroids several days prior to the appointment.
1) Benefits: symptom reduction, limiting need for medications and doctor visits.
2) Risks: adverse reactions, such as temporary worsening of allergy symptoms including mouth itching and irritation, nasal blockage, and sneezing.
3) Alternatives: continued medical management, allergen avoidance and nasal surgery. Procedures include surgery to remove bone and cartilage from the septum, as well as and destructive procedures such as partial turbinate removal and freezing a nerve behind the nose.
A drop is placed under the tongue first thing in the morning, at mid-afternoon, and at bedtime. To be effective, treatment is started at least 3 months prior to the allergy season.
There is no need to stop your allergy medications for the clinic visit or blood testing.
A past history of severe immediate allergic reaction or a severe medical illness such as unstable asthma, may preclude use of allergy drops.
You must notify the office if you have had emergency allergy treatment of any kind. Severe, anaphylactic allergy is not treated with allergy drops.
A history of glycerin sensitivity may be a contraindication to use of the drops, but can often be treated with sublingual immunotherapy.
Allertol is NOT used to prevent or treat immediate life-threatening allergy/anaphylaxis.