Had enough of your allergies? If you are considering treatment at a medical center, your visits will likely start with a consultation with a physician. The physician will probably ask you about your symptoms, look at the lining of the nose, listen to your breathing, etc. If your symptoms indicate allergy, the physician will likely then recommend an allergy test. There are different types of allergy tests. Common types include blood tests and skin tests (like skin prick or skin patch).
The physician will likely then take into account your physical history and the results of your test to determine if you are a candidate for treatment. Different types of clinics offer different types of treatment (or immunotherapy). Here are the most common options:
1. Subcutaneous immunotherapy clinic. Subcutaenous immunotherapy or SCIT is the fancy term for allergy shots. If your doctor recommends allergy shots, you will likely be asked to come to the clinic a couple times a week for injections of allergy antigens. The antigens will be assimilated into the bloodstream and help desensitize your body to antigens in the environment.
2. Sublingual immunotherapy clinic. Sublingual (under-the-tongue) immunotherapy can be administered through tablets or through under-the-tongue liquid drops. If your physician recommends sublingual immunotherapy, one advantage is that it can be taken at home because it is a safer delivery method than allergy shots (less risk of anaphylactic reaction).
Tablets are currently only available for limited types of antigens whereas drops can be given as “antigen mixes” that can help fortify you against more allergens.
You might consider visiting both a subcutaneous immunotherapy clinic (shots) and a sublingual immunotherapy clinic (tablets/drops) before you make your final decision. It used to be that shots were the only game in town, but in this day and age, there are several options to evaluate for the best fit for your health and lifestyle.