Allergy Testing & Treatment | AllergyEasy Program
Why are allergies on the rise?
It has been suggested that allergies are on the rise due partially to the Hygiene Hypothesis. The Hygiene Hypothesis postulates that reduced infection and bacterial exposure in early life favors the TH2 phenotype that promotes the development of allergy. This is why we see first born children having more allergies than subsequent children. The greater a child’s exposure to infection in early life, the less TH2 promotion and the more TH1 promotion occurs. This reduces the likelihood of allergy development. Other suggested causes of the rise in allergies include global warming and pollution.
What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is the process of desensitizing the body by gradually introducing it to allergy-causing dusts, molds, and pollens. Over time, the concentration of these allergens is increased until the immune system learns to ignore them. As the immune system learns to tolerate these allergens, it will stop overreacting to them and allergies start to go away. Immunotherapy is available in two forms: subcutaneous (allergy shots, also known as SCIT) and sublingual (drops under the tongue, also known as SLIT).
How does sublingual immunotherapy work?
Allergies are the result of a dysfunction of the immune system; they are a normal immunological process mounted against an inappropriate stimulus. The immune system believes that it is being invaded by a parasite rather than a harmless allergen present in the environment. Sublingual immunotherapy corrects this dysfunction of the immune system by, over time, placing consistent, low doses of harmless allergens under the tongue where they are absorbed by tiny capillaries. These allergens then attach themselves to the dendritic cells, known as the antigen-presenting cells, located in the sublingual mucosa. This induces immune deviation of TH2 in favor of TH1 cells and down regulates TH2 responses, thus reducing and/or eliminating allergies and their comorbidities.
Will I benefit from sublingual immunotherapy?
In the world-renowned Cochrane Review, a meta-analysis reviewed 22 studies involving 979 patients on sublingual immunotherapy and concluded that sublingual immunotherapy is a safe treatment which reduces symptoms and medication requirements in allergic rhinitis. It is also endorsed by the World Health Organization and the ARIA (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma) guidelines.
Is sublingual immunotherapy safe?
To date, there have been no life-threatening adverse events and no fatality has ever been reported. Sublingual immunotherapy has been used for over 60 years worldwide and, currently, more than 50% of the population of patients in Central Europe receiving specific immunotherapy is on sublingual immunotherapy.
What are the advantages of sublingual immunotherapy?
- No severe reactions
- No deaths
- Administered at home
- Avoids children’s fear of shots and needles
- Avoids having to come to office for shots
- Less costly/fewer physician visits
- Great for travelers
What is the typical amount of time to achieve immune modulation (remission of allergic symptoms)?
Three to five years.
How long will it take for me to see results with AllergyEasy?
Typically favorable results are seen once the maintenance dose is achieved, which is approximately three months. However, many patients state reduction of symptoms within the first month, and often within the first couple weeks of starting the drop program.
I travel a lot. Will AllergyEasy’s program work for me?
AllergyEasy is a perfect program for travelers such as pilots, members of the military, etc. Sublingual immunotherapy (drops) have distinct advantages over subcutaneous immunotherapy (shots) when traveling. SCIT requires that the patient remains in the office after the injection for thirty minutes to monitor for potential side effects. With SLIT, the patient can take the serum on the road with him/her. All of our bottles are under three ounces, making them perfect for travelers.
Is sublingual immunotherapy covered by insurance?
Most insurance plans do cover the cost of allergy testing and associated physical examinations/office visits. The actual sublingual immunotherapy is not as widely covered. However, it is likely that it will be in the near future. Greer Laboratories, one of the world’s largest serum manufacturers, announced at the 2008 American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Scientific Meeting the completion of their third and final phase of their study on sublingual immunotherapy. This is expected to lead to full Insurance coverage. In the meantime, we find that many patients are willing to pay out-of-pocket to avoid the hassle and costs associated with regular trips to the doctor’s office for allergy shots as well as with partially-effective over-the-counter medications.