If you suffer from chronic allergies, our Boca Raton, FL medical clinic offers several treatment options. The skilled staff and immunotherapist at Ress ENT/ Boca Raton Ear & Sinus Sugery can diagnose the cause of your sinus symptoms and then recommend treatments. While many people are familiar with allergy shots, our office offers an alternative treatment called sublingual therapy, or sublingual immunotherapy.
The treatment may be ideal for patients who are averse to the idea of receiving multiple shots over the course of months or even years.
What Is Sublingual Therapy and How Does It Work?
Sublingual therapy (SLIT) is a form of immunotherapy that delivers small doses of a particular allergen over time to help patients reduce their allergy symptoms when they are exposed to the allergen in their natural environment. The treatment is sometimes referred to as allergy shots. Whereas immunotherapy treatments are often administered through shots, sublingual therapy works through drops that are placed under the tongue.
The drops contain small amounts of allergens. Over time, exposure to the allergen increases the patient’s tolerance to the allergen and thereby reduced allergic symptoms.
Before your sublingual therapy sessions can begin, a member of our medical staff will need to determine which substances you are allergic to.
The allergens may include:
- Certain foods
- Bee venom
- Pet dander
During your test, an allergy specialist will make multiple tiny pricks on the surface of your skin before applying a small drop of an allergen on each testing site. After observing the results, a list of substances you are allergic to will be made. Allergy testing is safe for children and adults.
A custom-mixed vial of drops will be prepared based on your test results. You will be given detail directions on how and when to take the drops. Typically, the drops are taken under the tongue daily. The first month is known as the escalation phase because the dosage is gradually increased. The next phase is called the maintenance phase because the patient takes the same dose of drops each day.
Am I a Good Candidate for Sublingual Immunotherapy?
Most individuals who suffer from allergies (allergic conjunctivitis, allergic rhinitis, or allergic asthma) are potential candidates for sublingual therapy. The treatment has proven to be safe in children and adults of all ages. Sublingual therapy is often not recommended for pregnant women, although some patients may be able to continue the therapy if they started before their pregnancy.
Individuals who have a wide range of allergens that need to be treated may not be good candidates for sublingual therapy due to the large volume of different allergen extracts that have to be taken orally. Several allergy drops have been approved by the FDA, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed sublingual therapy as an effective alternative to allergy shots.
Patients who experience anxiety about having multiple injections may also be good candidates for sublingual therapy.
Explore the Benefits of Sublingual Therapy Today
Sublingual therapy has been a popular form of immunotherapy for decades in Europe. The treatment options have become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years. If you are unable to undergo allergy shots, one of our allergy specialists will gladly explain the benefits of this alternative treatment. To schedule your consultation for sublingual therapy, contact our Boca Raton, FL office online today or call (561) 353-7377.