Most patients are familiar with the option of allergy shots for those whose allergic symptoms can’t be controlled with environmental modifications or medicines. Shots have been the gold standard for years.
Since the late eighties, though, allergy drops have become a viable option, especially in Europe.
Around this time, guidelines mandated that allergy shots be performed in a hospital setting in the United Kingdom. This had serious implications for a multitude of patients suffering with allergic rhinitis and asthma. Utilizing a technique that had been known about for decades, but not commonly practiced, physicians in the UK by sheer necessity made the switch to drops. Now, a couple decades later, allergy drops are the dominant option for desensitization in much of Europe.
Similar to shots, allergy drops expose the patient’s immune system to incremental strengths of substances to which they are allergic. This process, ultimately recalibrates the immune system in such a manner that the body develops tolerance and the previous exaggerated response is alleviated.
The data is overwhelming clear that allergy drops are both safe and effective. I’ve been amazed at how helpful the drops have been for my patients over the years. Typically, the drops are used once daily under the tongue for 3 years. Studies have documented long term allergy relief years after completion of the treatment.
While drops may a good option for many, they can be especially beneficial for those with:
- Multiple severe allergies
- Needle phobia
- Difficulty tolerating allergy shots
- Busy schedules
Paul A. Walker, MD, is a board certified Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist with Baptist ENT Specialists in Fleming Island. He is a fellow of The American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. His office offers innovative and comprehensive testing and treatment for allergies and chronic sinus disorders. He specializes in minimally invasive office procedures, including balloon sinuplasty. Contact Dr. Walker’s office at 904.592.1068 or request an appointment.