Tolerate Annoying Allergies No More
By Dr. Sasha Blissett
Have you been concerned about having to use your allergy medication every day? Did you know that having cold-like symptoms daily is not normal? Many of my patients have been prescribed steroids or antihistamines, and find they need to use them daily to manage bothersome allergy symptoms. Doctors may be slow to offer testing or to recommend alternative treatments that are available, leaving sufferers to feel there are no options to life-long over the counter or prescription allergy medications. Notwithstanding how common allergy medications are, they bring along their own concerns that the user should be weary of.
The deceptive appeal
Nasal decongestants can bring immediate relief to congested nasal passages. Steroidal nasal spray will reduce inflammation and swelling for easier breathing through the nasal passageways. And oral antihistamines reduce drainage and itching. But none of these medications address the cause of allergies, instead only suppressing certain components of the immune response. Allergy medications, OTC, or prescriptions come with their share of side effects like drowsiness, blood pressure elevations, acne, and even mood changes. As you can see, they offer several side effects while providing only short-term relief. Proper allergy testing is the first step to permanent relief of allergy symptoms.
Sublingual Immunotherapy and how it works
Measurements of IgE levels against allergens are first recorded to determine what and how severe the reaction is. Testing therefore determines the exact substance, known as the antigen, that provokes an IgE immune (allergic) response. IgE immunoglobins are produced by the immune system in response to a substance the body deems dangerous and are responsible for acute allergic reactions, both severe and mild. Next, the results are used to create a custom allergy blend known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). SLIT is self-administered and does not require injections or frequent visits to the doctor’s office.
SLIT safely delivers liquid doses of antigens to messenger cells, special cells of the immune system located under the tongue. This is where most of these special cells are found and allows retraining of your immune system. Upon retraining, the immune system will cease its exaggerated allergic response. Each formula is customized to the specific antigens and their levels and reformulated according to improvements in the immune response over time. This form of immunotherapy is known as the La Crosse Method and was developed by Allergist and Family Practice Physician, Dr. David Morris. The advantages to SLIT over conventional allergy shots are that allergic reactions and side-effects are far less common, treatments are self-administered, without injections. With daily delivery under the tongue, SLIT offers a convenience that conventional immunotherapy does not. Patients may see improvement in as little as a few weeks to a few months.
Benefits of Sublingual Immunotherapy
As we approach the height of allergy season it’s best to go directly to the source of your symptoms for true relief. SLIT can stop problematic allergens by retraining your immune system and by treating the cause. The benefits of sublingual immunotherapy include:
1) Treats the cause of your allergies.
2) Retrains your immune system with minimal to no side-effects.
3) May provide relief in as little as a few weeks to a few months.
4) Is conveniently self-administered and requires no injections.
If you are dependent on over the counter or prescription allergy medications for short-term relief, notice more frequent cold-like symptoms, or suffer from chronic allergy symptoms, these could be tell-tale signs that you should have allergy testing done. The results are used to create a custom allergy blend known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). Upon retraining, the immune system will cease its exaggerated allergic response to provide relief and permanent resolution of your chronic allergy symptoms.
Dr. Sasha Blissett is a California State licensed Naturopathic Doctor, who found her passion for naturopathic medicine while battling her own health and skin issues. She specializes in women’s health and takes the time to listen to her patient’s health concerns so she can understand and address the root cause of illnesses. Dr. Blissett is a member of the California Association of Naturopathic Doctors, the Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine and the Integrative Dermatology Learnskin.