Remember how miserable your allergies made you feel this past year? Next year can be significantly better if you prepare now. Immunotherapy is an allergy treatment that teaches your immune system to accept allergens rather than try to fight them off. As a result, your allergy symptoms naturally disappear or fade into a minor irritation. But it takes a few months for the acceptance to kick in. Since tree, grass and weed pollen seasons typically don’t begin until February or later, now is the perfect time to start immunotherapy. Starting now could launch you into a virtually symptom-free Spring, Summer and Fall in 2016 — and beyond!
Allergies are caused by the immune system over-reacting to a particle (also known as an allergen) in the environment and summoning defenses to fight it off. Immunotherapy, either under the tongue (drops) or by injection, is a process that desensitizes your immune system. Once desensitized, your system no longer reacts to the allergen. Immunotherapy begins by exposing you to very small amounts of the allergen. As this ramp-up process begins, symptoms start to fade and allergy sufferers can wean themselves off of medications. Within two months, most people are virtually clear of symptoms. As the treatment progresses, the amount of allergens in the serum increases until reaching a steady maintenance dose. If you were to start treatment in mid-December, the pollen that will begin flying next February or March shouldn’t bother you!
Another benefit of allergy drops and shots is that they can be formulated to address more than one allergy. So, for instance, if you’re allergic to pet dander, cedar pollen (the source of “cedar fever”) and ragweed pollen (the major cause of hay fever), one prescription can resolve all your allergy problems.
Heading into winter, you may feel grateful that you’re leaving your pollen allergies behind for a while. If you start immunotherapy now, you could be leaving them behind for good! To find a provider who can determine your exact allergy triggers and offer immunotherapy for you or someone you love, click here.