About Allergy Drops
Allergy drop immunotherapy, also known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), is a treatment that like allergy shots, slowly builds your tolerance to the allergen (what you’re allergic to).
Instead of being injected (as a shot), allergy drops are placed under the tongue, where there are many immune cells.
Research shows that placing these drops on cells is more effective for building long-term tolerance.
This is why it’s a great alternative for people who cannot tolerate, or are not effected by, allergy shots. Treating your allergies with drops can take anywhere from 3 to 5 years, depending on how bad your allergies are and how well you follow directions. Read our brochure on how Allergy Drops work at our office.
Who can receive allergy drops?
Allergy drops are especially helpful for people who can’t tolerate or don’t respond to allergy shots, including:
- Infants and children*
- People with severe asthma
- Highly sensitive patients
- Patients with chronic conditions including sinusitis
- Patients with food and/or mold allergies
- Patients with multiples allergies including dust, pollens, and animals
*Allergy drops can be especially helpful for children with eczema and recurrent ear infections, which often have underlying allergic causes. Research shows that many children with untreated eczema and allergies develop asthma and other chronic conditions later in life.
Treating them early on can have life-long benefits and potentially prevent related conditions from developing.
What are the advantages of allergy drops?
Aside from being effective for more types of patients than shots, there are other reasons to go with allergy drops:
Lower cost, fewer clinic visits. Allergy drops are often less expensive and require fewer clinic visits after your first testing. This is usually only a few clinic visits the first year, and once every 6-12 months after that until you and your doctor agree you don’t need any more drops.
More convenient, fewer medications. You can take allergy drops at home or wherever you need to be, making it much easier to follow your doctor’s recommended treatment until it’s no longer needed. Also, most patients find they need less medication (antihistamines like Benadryl or Claritin) to control symptoms soon after beginning allergy drops.
More healthy days. After using drops regularly, patients typically report fewer allergy-related visits to their doctor or hospital, and less time lost from work or school.
How do I begin?
If your doctor agrees allergy drop treatment is right for you, he or she will provide customized (specific to your allergies and sensitivity) drops.
Stay in Touch with your Doctor
Your doctor will want to test you regularly and adjust your dosing throughout your treatment as your tolerance increases (and allergic reaction lessens). You may be asked to make lifestyle changes to reduce your exposure to things that cause your allergies, and you may receive medications to help treat allergy symptoms as your body builds tolerance.
Though it may be tempting to stop treatment once you start feeling better, it’s important to continue using drops until your doctor recommends that you stop. This helps you get long-term tolerance, rather than just short-term relief.