Trusted ENT Doctor in Jupiter Florida discusses Allergy Immunotherapy
Allergy Immunotherapy is a common way Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctors and medical allergists treat allergies. It works by presenting a patient with very small amounts of the substances to which they are allergic. With time, the patient develops more and more tolerance for these substances. Thereafter, they have less sensitivities to these allergic environmental cues, and thus, less allergy symptoms.
When performed properly, immunotherapy can give very good results. Although generally very safe, this sort of treatment should only be performed with the supervision of a qualified health professional.
For patients seeking this more permanent solution for allergy management, the first step is allergy testing. Patients can find out what they are allergic to with simple office-based testing. For Dr. Sharma’s office, this testing is available in multiple locations.
Once the provider knows what the patient is allergic to, a personalized serum is created for that patient. This serum, unique only to that patient, is utilized to achieve the goals of immunotherapy.
In the United States, the most common type of immunotherapy is allergy shots, also called subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT).
Here’s a short video of Dr. Sharma’s discussing immunotherapy on his YouTube channel.
Immunotherapy of this type is delivered in two major phases – the “build up phase“ and the “maintenance phase.”
The build up phase describes the initial treatment time, during which the patient’s immune system becomes more tolerant to bothersome environmental cues. The build up phase can last months, or even a year or more. Typically patients have allergy shots at least once a week during this time.
Often, patients have improvement of symptoms during the buildup phase. Next, the patient enters the maintenance phase. During this time, treatments become less frequent and may be offered every two to three weeks. Overall, treatment time for immunotherapy can be two to five years.
In our practice, we also offer Needle Free Immunotherapy, known as sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT. While not yet approved by FDA in the United States, needle free SLIT is common in Europe. It has been estimated that up to nearly half of all European immunotherapy patients received this form of therapy.
In a broad sense, immunotherapy is the changing of the body’s internal defense systems to improve one’s health. Immunotherapy is the only recognized treatment for the cause of allergy symptoms. Otherwise, examples of treating allergy symptoms include avoidance of allergens (the things are allergic to), allergy tablets, and allergy nasal sprays. All of these strategies do work, but share the shortcoming of giving temporary results.
If you have allergy symptoms, including stuffy nose, postnasal drip, sore throat, sinus pressure or pain, itchy eyes or nose, you may wish to see what role allergies play in your life. Our best advice is to see a Board Certified Otolaryngologist who can evaluate you in a way that no other physician can.
Using a comprehensive, broad-based approach an Otolaryngologist (ENT), like Dr. Sharma, can test for allergies, but also exclude other common causes of these types of symptoms. Not infrequently, we find patients with chronic sinusitis or anatomic blockage of the nose or airway.
To schedule evaluation and/or testing, please call Dr. Sharma’s office today at Jupiter Office Phone Number 561-277-0699.
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