Understanding the Types of Immunotherapy

Allergies affect millions of people in countless different ways. For most people, an allergy is a minor nuisance that makes life uncomfortable for a few weeks out of the year. For some people, however, allergies can cause an asthma attack at virtually any time. For the sake of their wellbeing, it’s important for these individuals to explore all allergy treatment options—including immunotherapy. The next time you visit an allergist, be sure to ask about the different types of immunotherapy. 

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Immunotherapy Basics

After being evaluated by an allergist, you will receive a personalized treatment plan that may include immunotherapy. Whereas antihistamines provide temporary relief, immunotherapy provides long-term relief. Immunotherapy involves the gradual introduction of allergens to your system, and is designed to help your body become less sensitive to allergens over time. In some cases, immunotherapy can provide complete relief from allergy symptoms.

Subcutaneous Immunotherapy

One of the most common types of immunotherapy is subcutaneous immunotherapy. “Subcutaneous” means “beneath the skin,” and this type of immunotherapy involves injecting allergens into the skin. After injecting the allergen, you must wait in the allergists office for 30 minutes to be monitored for a possible reaction to the injection. 

Sublingual Immunotherapy

“Sublingual” means “beneath the tongue,” which describes the site where sublingual immunotherapy is administered. Sublingual immunotherapy involves the daily  placement  of allergy extract  drops  beneath the tongue. If you have a food allergy, your allergist may recommend food sublingual immunotherapy, which involves placing food extract beneath the tongue. As with subcutaneous immunotherapy, the idea is to gradually increase the body’s exposure to an allergen in an effort to reduce symptoms. 

Board-certified allergists/immunologists comprise the entire physician staff of Allergy & Asthma Specialists. Allergy doctors at our premier medical practice provide comprehensive allergy and asthma diagnostics and state-of-the-art treatment, including two types of immunotherapy. We have offices in center city Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com  or by calling 1-800- 86COUGH and selecting option 2.