Your immune system is designed to keep you safe from things that make you sick. It’s built of sensitive cells that attack and destroy things like bacteria, viruses, and mold. After your immune system attacks and destroys something, it hangs on to the attacker’s genetic information, so that it remembers how to destroy it again. When it functions properly, your immune system is a fantastic and complex tool that keeps your body healthy. Your immune system, though, can overreact when you come into contact with certain substances.
When your immune system overreacts, you experience allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, allergies affect an estimated 50 million people in the United States, making them the 6th-leading cause of chronic illness in the country. Allergies can range from very mild to deadly, with anaphylaxis-related death being a very real possibility for some allergy sufferers.
Treating allergies with over-the-counter medications can leave you exhausted and dehydrate you. At Florida Ear Nose Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center, Wade Han, MD, FACS treats your allergies with immunotherapy. We have two options: subcutaneous immunotherapy, or allergy shots, and sublingual immunotherapy, or allergy tabs.
If you have allergies, they’re difficult to miss. Most people might describe cold or flu-like symptoms, minus any fever or body temperature changes. There are many different types of allergy episodes, though, and some of the most common include:
Allergies can leave you foggy, itchy, and exhausted. If you think you have allergies but aren’t sure, Dr. Han has the tools to test you. Once we have a solid answer about your allergies, we can treat them.
While allergies themselves are symptoms of an overactive immune system, what triggers them depends on the individual. Common allergy triggers include pollen, mold, dust mites, certain animals, and insect stings, and some people experience allergies to medications. You may have allergy symptoms that are triggered by cats, while your mother’s allergies are triggered by dogs. Genetics plays a role in whether or not you will have allergies. Black Americans appear to experience allergies at greater rates than do White Americans.
If avoiding your allergy triggers and taking medicine isn’t helping you with your symptoms, there are other options available. Dr. Han is proud to offer effective options that can provide long-term relief to most people living with allergies. Before he recommends treatment, Dr. Han has a consultation with you and discusses your medical history. From there, Dr. Han prefers to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy.
Sublingual immunotherapy is a much-preferred alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy. Allergy shots have been known and used for a long time now, and for many today, it’s a question of access. Dr. Han prefers the ease and comfort of sublingual, or oral, immunotherapy.
After clearing you, Dr. Han provides a comprehensive plan to help alleviate your allergy symptoms. After your appointment, we send you home with your allergy tabs and clear instructions on dosing and frequency.
By giving your body small, chemically altered amounts of your allergy triggers in pill form, your body becomes used to the material and reacts less severely. While this technically isn’t a cure for allergies, you’ll notice that your allergy symptoms will substantially improve, and may not bother you at all for a long time.
Dissolve one tab under your tongue daily. The number of tabs you’ll need to take depends on what Dr. Han says will work for you.
Stay in touch with Dr. Han during your therapy, and let us know if you have any questions about your therapy. Side effects of immunotherapy are extremely rare, but let us know if you think you’re reacting to your therapy.
Don’t let allergy season keep you indoors and away from all the summer fun. Call either of our Florida offices for a consultation or book an appointment with us online.