Once your allergy testing results have come back, our allergists can recommend treatment methods. Depending on the allergen, our allergists may recommend immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or sublingual drops. Avoidance of the allergy may also be recommended.
Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)
One method of allergy treatment employed by the allergists at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates is allergy shots (also called immunotherapy). Allergy shots are given regularly in gradually-increasing doses to increase your tolerance to allergens. Allergy shots will not cure you of your allergies, but they will reduce your symptoms. Allergy shots are effective in treating allergies such as insect venom, pollen, mold, pet dander and dust mites, but they are not an effective treatment method for food allergies.
Once you have reached what is called a “maintenance dose,” our Charlotte allergists may allow you to take your shots home so that you may administer them yourself without coming in to our offices. Of course, if you feel more comfortable coming into one of our Charlotte allergy locations, you are more than welcome to do that as well.
Before prescribing allergy shots our allergists and ENT doctors will ask about the medications you are taking. Beta blockers and other medications can increase the risk of side effects and may interfere with your allergy treatment; our allergists may have you stop taking allergy shots or recommend alternate treatment methods.
Irritation, swelling and redness around the injection site is normal and should go away within 4-8 hours of receiving the allergy shot. If you have more severe symptoms such as shortness of breath, a tight throat, runny nose or itchy eyes, take an antihistamine and return to one of our Charlotte allergy departments or the nearest emergency room.
Sublingual Allergy Drops
Sublingual allergy drops, like allergy shots, are a form of immunotherapy. Unlike allergy shots, however, sublingual allergy drops are not injected but instead are usually placed under the tongue. These allergy drops are often referred to as “sublingual immunotherapy” or “SLIT”. Sublingual drops are usually taken at home, as they are usually used several times in a week. The drops can be used to treat inhalation allergies (as mentioned above) as well as food allergies.
Sometimes there may be no effective treatment methods for an allergy, as is the case with many food allergies. When there is no sufficient treatment available, it is best to avoid the allergen altogether. Once your allergy test results have identified the specific things you are allergic to, you can then determine how best to avoid them. With food allergies, this would involve eliminating the allergen from your diet. With seasonal allergies, it might involve keeping your home’s windows and doors shut tight and using a allergen reducing air filter.