Some of us have allergies that last all year. Generally, though, allergy season is during spring and summer, a time when flowering plants share their pollen with the world to create more greenery. Sadly, the sight of bits of pollen collected on cars is enough to keep many of us indoors. Not to mention, allergies to foods and animals can make life miserable any time of year.
Wade Han, MD, FACS, and Elvira Lingvi De Armas, Au.D lead our warm and professional team at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center in Orlando, Florida and Kissimmee, Florida. Dr. Han provides immunotherapy to patients who suffer from allergies to help them live more normally and enjoy the outdoors.
Immunotherapy strengthens your immune system to fight off sickness. It is used to treat cancer patients, but also has an application for people living with allergies. Through shots or dissolvable tablets, Dr. Han gives you miniscule amounts of allergens — amounts too tiny to trigger an allergic reaction.
Using tiny amounts of these allergens helps your body to gradually build an immunity to them, and you see fewer symptoms. At Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center, Dr. Han offers two options for immunotherapy: allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy.
Allergy shots are given in the upper arm over the course of several years. Early in your treatment, you may need to come into the office as often as once per week. After a couple of months, your injections will reduce to approximately once per month for at least the next year. Other options may be available if you’re unresponsive to treatment after your first year.
Sublingual immunotherapy, or SLIT, is a daily dose of allergen that you dissolve under your tongue. SLIT is available in tablets or drops, but our office recommends the tablets.
What are the benefits of immunotherapy?
Sparing yourself from new or worsening allergies has several benefits. You could greatly improve your quality of life, including your quality of sleep, if allergies affect you at night. Eventual relief from allergy symptoms is the obvious goal of immunotherapy, but there are other good reasons to consider treating your allergies.
Prevent the development of new allergies
One of the most important reasons to consider treating your allergies is that it lowers your likelihood of developing new allergies. While it’s possible for allergies to improve with age, severe allergies can progress to allergy-triggered asthma, a serious respiratory disease.
Enjoying the great outdoors
Without having to deal with the symptoms of hay fever, such as itchy, watery eyes, or a runny nose, you’ll be able to enjoy sports, picnics, hikes, or any outdoor activity you choose. You also won’t have to worry about the tiredness that comes from some allergy medications.
Spending more time with pets
If your allergies are triggered by your pets, life at home can be miserable. About 3 in 10 people are allergic to dogs and cats, with cats being two times more likely to cause an allergic reaction. Getting immunotherapy means keeping your furry family members close, and enjoying the time that you have with them.
Protection from the effects of certain insects
Around 5% of people in the US have allergies to insect bites, stings, and waste. Bee stings are one of the most common insect allergies, and these allergies can be particularly severe. Bee stings are well-known to trigger anaphylaxis, or a severe allergic reaction that causes you to go into shock.
Safe and effective
If taking an allergy pill every day concerns you, or your primary care doctor, immunotherapy could be the solution you’re seeking. With results typically seen within the first year, it is possible and feasible that you may be able to stop taking allergy medicine.
I’m ready to try something new for my allergies.
Before we recommend any type of therapy, you meet with Dr. Han to go over your medical history. Make sure to tell Dr. Han about any medication you’re taking, including supplements. Dr. Han will give you an allergy test to determine the severity of your allergies, and determine the appropriate dosage for your treatment.
While your allergies won’t disappear overnight, they should dramatically reduce, or eventually be resolved, within a year. If you’re ready to treat your allergies, call us today at either of our Florida offices for a consultation or book an appointment with us online.