3 Personalized Options for Allergy Relief
Allergies are no joke. In fact, living with allergies can cause a lot of anxiety for people who have them – imagine if sitting next to someone who has a cat at home results in a trip to the ER. Or not feeling the joy of important springtime events such as graduations, weddings and proms because headaches, sniffles and red, itchy eyes are plaguing you. For many allergy patients, immunotherapy can be the solution that drastically improves their quality of life and decreases the need for over the counter allergy meds that can actually make you feel worse. It’s one of the most effective ways of treating allergies and asthma, as it often results in a near complete relief of symptoms.
Immunotherapy treats the underlying cause of the allergic reaction by slowly introducing the allergens that trigger your symptoms. These allergens are determined by a twenty-minute procedure called allergy skin testing. Over time, the concentration of the doses of your allergy triggers are gradually increased in order for you to build up a tolerance to them.
Immunotherapy treats the underlying cause of the allergic reaction while decongestants and antihistamines only treat the symptoms. This gradual introduction of the allergens helps your immune system build up your own natural immunity, making you less allergic, which ultimately lets allergy and asthma patients breathe easier – literally!
There are three kinds of immunotherapy options. Read on to find out which might be the best fit for you.
Injections are safe, effective treatments for allergies. With injections (also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy or SCIT) allergy symptoms begin to subside in three to six months and the treatment is typically completed over the course of three to five years. After finding out the results of their skin test, patients are administered the injection containing their personalized prescription of allergens at the doctor’s office. It requires a 30-minute wait post injection to monitor the patient for an allergic reaction. Injections are required about one or two times per week during the buildup phase and later, once a month for maintenance. The cost for a six-month supply can range from $300 to $1200 but it is usually covered by most insurance plans. However, deductibles, copayments and coinsurance apply as defined by your plan.
Drops are also a safe and effective treatment for allergies. As with injections, drops (also known as sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT) contain the patient’s personalized prescription of allergens and symptoms begin to subside in three to six months. The whole treatment is typically completed in 3-5 years. Drops are an option if patients don’t have time for monthly visits to the doctor or have an aversion to needles. Unlike injections, the drops are administered by placing them under the tongue and can be taken at home. Instead of one to two injections per week, drops are administered daily. Typically, they cost about $110 per month with the extract sold in six month supplies. The cost is not covered by insurance plans but is a qualified medical expense for most HSA and FSA plans.
Tablets are a great option for patients that are allergic to just grass or ragweed. Tablets are taken daily and like injections and drops, will work towards long-term relief from symptoms. Tablets are prescribed by the allergist and are obtained at your pharmacy. Cost is determined by your health insurance drug plan.
Start your journey towards relief today by scheduling an appointment with one of the board-certified allergists at Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠. The specialists offer all three types of immunotherapy at offices located in Center City Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown and Collegeville. They’ll test for allergy triggers and produce your personalized prescription at their onsite lab. Schedule an appointment today online at AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH, extension 2.This is a paid partnership between Allergy & Asthma Specialists ℠ and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio