Allergies can be quite a nuisance, or even a serious health issue. They occur because your immune system goes into overdrive when you're exposed to an allergen.
Whether you’re allergic to pollen, peanuts, pet dander, or other substances, your body overreacts, treating them as dangerous pathogens. This triggers the release of histamine, leading to familiar symptoms like a runny nose, itching, and even asthma in some cases.
While medications like antihistamines and corticosteroids treat the symptoms of allergies, they don't get to the root of the problem. On the other hand, immunotherapy focuses on desensitizing your immune system to allergens, gradually reducing the severity of your reactions.
At Advanced Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology in San Antonio and Schertz, Texas, Dr. Patricia Gomez-Dinger specializes in administering this transformative allergy treatment to help you live your best life, free of allergy symptoms.
Take a moment as she explains how immunotherapy works and whether it’s the best allergy treatment for you.
Immunotherapy involves gradually introducing the allergen into your body in controlled amounts to train your immune system to tolerate it. Consistent exposure teaches your immune system to recognize it as non-threatening, reducing the severity of your allergic reactions over time.
Before you start immunotherapy, we carry out allergy testing to identify the specific allergens that trigger your symptoms. We then formulate a unique allergen blend based on your test results. After that, we expose these allergens to you in small doses.
Four of the most common types of immunotherapy are:
Here, we give you injections of increasing doses of the allergen over time. Usually, you start with weekly injections, tapering off to monthly injections as your tolerance builds.
Instead of shots, we place small amounts of the allergen under your tongue, which you either swallow or spit out. This is often a more convenient method but might be suitable for only some types of allergies.
This is generally used for food allergies. Here, you eat the allergen in steadily increasing amounts under our medical supervision.
This accelerated form of immunotherapy is designed to build up your tolerance to allergens more quickly than other methods. Typically, this approach involves administering multiple increasing doses of an allergen in a single day rather than over weeks or months.
Immunotherapy offers several advantages, including:
Unlike antihistamines or decongestants, which relieve symptoms only temporarily, immunotherapy aims to provide long-term relief.
As your symptoms improve, you may need fewer medications to manage your allergies.
You can engage more freely in activities you enjoy with fewer or milder symptoms.
Although it can be immensely beneficial, immunotherapy isn't for everyone. It's crucial to discuss your medical history and concerns with us to determine if immunotherapy is right for you.
If you're looking to put an end to the endless cycle of allergies and medications, you should consider immunotherapy. By retraining your immune system, you can potentially beat your allergies in the long term. Schedule an appointment with us online today or call 20210-655-4824.