Airborne allergies, also called inhalant allergies, are typical seasonal allergies or “hayfever” that many suffer from March through June when tree and grass pollens are prevalent, and in the fall when weeds including ragweed are in the air, and November through 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 perennial, from animal dander such as cat, from house dust mites in bedding, and from mold.
The immune system makes an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which reacts with airborne allergens. This antibody can be detected with a high level of accuracy in a blood test. Skin testing may not be a reliable test.
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, for which allergy shots or airborne allergy drops, as well as medications, are 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 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 drops are used more often than shots. Like a series of airborne allergy shots, airborne 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 by "down regulating" the immune system. 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 and less hypersensitive to allergens. 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 in children that receive allergy drop therapy. Because allergy drops are painless, they are an ideal solution for children and infants. Long-term compliance is very high.
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.
1) Benefits include symptom reduction, limiting need for medications and doctor visits.
2) Risks include reactions, such as temporary worsening of allergy symptoms including mouth itching, nasal blockage, and sneezing.
3) Alternatives include medical management, allergen avoidance, nasal surgery and a series of allergy injections.
A drop is placed under the tongue early morning, mid-afternoon, and 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.
Severe immediate allergic reaction or a severe medical illness such as unstable asthma, may preclude use of allergy drops.
Notify the office if you have had emergency allergy treatment. Severe, anaphylactic allergy is not treated with allergy drops.
• Allergy Drop Test Vials
& Treatment Pumper Vials
• Quest or LabCorp Test Forms