How Sublingual Immunotherapy Works

If you have been suffering from allergy symptoms for a long time, your doctor may recommend sublingual allergy immunotherapy as the best remedy for your miseries. Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is popularly referred to as allergy drops. It works just like an allergy shot, developing your tolerance to the substance that causes your allergies. The difference between an allergy shot and sublingual immunotherapy is how the antigen is introduced into the body. With sublingual immunotherapy, it is dispensed as liquid drops under the tongue. Shots, of course, are injected into the skin.

How Sublingual Immunotherapy Works

Why under the tongue?

There is a large concentration of dendritic cells beneath the tongue. These cells are effective at inducing tolerance. On the other hand, there is a dearth of mast cells, eosinophils and basophils, all of which can cause allergic reactions. This balance proves just right for acceptance of immunotherapy. A daily delivery of the antigen to the dendritic cells allows the body to start tolerating allergic triggers with a nominal risk of an adverse reaction.

SLIT enables a gradual build-up of antigen. As the body is exposed to more and more of the antigen each day, it builds a tolerance and brings permanent change to the body’s allergic immune response.

Starting treatment

SLIT dosing begins with either blood testing or skin testing. Based on the test results, doctors can prescribe SLIT. The therapy starts at the highest dilution that produced a near-negative skin test. The dosing will increase progressively. The gradual build-up of the dosage will prevent local and systemic reactions.

When your body has an allergic reaction, it produces antibodies referred to as IgE. Sublingual immunotherapy has been shown to decrease allergen-specific IgE (immunoglobin E) in many people. IgE is only one of the measures of allergic response. Thus, not everyone is expected to produce it. Nevertheless, it is frequently used to indicate allergic sensitivity.

If you suffer from allergies for more than a few months of the year or if you have particularly severe allergies, talk to your doctor about Scottsdale sublingual allergy immunotherapy.