What is immunotherapy?
Allergen immunotherapy is a form of treatment aimed at decreasing your sensitivity to environmental allergens. Immunotherapy involves introducing small amounts of an allergen on a regular basis. It is the only treatment that targets the cause of allergy and alters the natural cause of the disease. During treatment, the immune system is gradually desensitized through injections of small doses of specific allergenic proteins extracted from natural allergen sources.
How long will I have to be on immunotherapy?
The course of immunotherapy varies by individual. The initial course of treatment is between 6 months and a year.
How soon will I see results from immunotherapy?
Relief from allergies varies by individual, but the vast majority of patients see results within the first three months ofimmunotherapy. Up to 85% receive a complete cure or noticeable reduction in allergy symptoms.
Allergy Medication vs. Immunotherapy:
Allergy medication temporarily desensitizes with antihistamines while immunotherapy permanently desensitizes you to allergens within 1-5 years.
While allergy medications can have side effects consisting of drowsiness, loss of concentration, increased anxiety, nausea, loss of libido, depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, difficulty with urination , tremors, dry mouth, gastritis and dizziness, immunotherapy has no side effects.
Allergy medication is not allergen specific but with immunotherapy, you receive a customized antigen scientifically created for you by testing for 50 or more geographically specific allergens.
Chronic use of allergy medications can cost thousands of dollars over a lifetime while most insurances cover the cost of immunotherapy.