There is a common misconception that people with allergies have to suffer from them for their entire life. Luckily, this isn’t the case. With allergy desensitization, you can overcome your allergies through safe, gradual trigger exposures. At Asthma Allergy Centre in Tigard, OR, we have used this technique to help many clients turn off their allergies and improve their quality of life significantly. Here’s what you need to know about this treatment.
What Is Allergy Desensitization?
This is a type of treatment that teaches your body how to respond to histamines, such as environmental allergens, foods, and other triggers. It involves safe gradual exposure. Depending on the severity of your allergic responses, it may make you feel better or save your life.
How Does Allergy Desensitization Work?
There are numerous allergy desensitization techniques that may be used to teach your immune system how to act in response to histamines.
OIT, sometimes known as oral immunotherapy, is a two-phase food allergy treatment. The first phase of OIT involves the introduction of a solution containing a tiny amount of the problem food. Over time, the dosage of the trouble food is increased slowly.
When a highly concentrated dose of the allergen is tolerated, the second phase of the treatment is initiated. The second phase of the treatment involves giving clients a small portion of the whole trigger food. With enough therapy, most people who receive this treatment can eat previous trigger foods safely.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy achieves desensitization to allergies through injections. At first, only a tiny amount of the histamine is administered subcutaneously. However, over a period of several weeks, the dosage administered is gradually increased. By the end of the course of treatments, most people are no longer triggered by the triggering food.
Sublingual immunotherapy involves the placement of dissolvable drops beneath the tongue rather than injections. This convenient therapy method is ideal for people who don’t have a lot of time to come in for regular injection sessions throughout their course of treatments.
What Kinds of Allergies Can Be Treated With This Method?
Regardless of how severe your allergic responses are, this treatment can benefit you. It can be used to treat almost all types of allergies. Here are just a few of the specific allergens it can treat:
- Pet dander
- Tree nuts
- Other types of nuts
- Mildew and mold
- Environmental histamines
The Benefits of Desensitizing Allergies
Strong allergic reactions can lead to anaphylaxis, a condition that can be life-threatening. However, even if you’re not deathly allergic to a histamine, you could still feel in fear for your life or need to go to the hospital. Among the most dangerous food-related histamines are shellfish and nuts. These histamines commonly trigger anaphylaxis, causing such symptoms as airways closing and blood pressure dropping suddenly and significantly.
With desensitization therapy, you can stop living in fear of triggering an allergic reaction. Foods that were once life-threatening become innocuous. If you are exposed to histamine after treatment, your life may be saved.
You Will No Longer Need To Carry an EpiPen
If you have a severe nut or shellfish allergy, you currently have to carry an EpiPen. If you choose desensitization therapy, you will no longer need to carry an EpiPen. This auto-injection kit is incredibly expensive and needs to be replaced when it expires. However, it can stop the progression of anaphylaxis if it is injected quickly enough after allergen exposure.
Nevertheless, it takes a great deal of concentration to remember to keep your EpiPen on you all of the time. If you leave it in your purse in the car when you visit your friend, and you have exposure to a trigger, your life can be threatened. After desensitization therapy, you will no longer need to spend hundreds of dollars per year keeping EpiPens that aren’t expired on your person.
You Can Eat at Restaurants Worry-Free
If you have a food allergy, it can be hard to go to a restaurant or neighborhood barbecue. You don’t know what ingredients were used to make the foods you want to try. Even if your waiter informs you of all ingredients used to make a meal, cross-contamination can occur during food preparation. Following desensitization therapy, you no longer have to ask your waiter to list every ingredient in the meal you’re interested in and worry about cross-contamination.
You can go to your neighbor’s barbecue without wondering whether there is peanut butter in the chocolate cake. You don’t have to wonder whether there is real crab meat in the hush puppies. You can order anything that looks good on the menu, including the seafood pasta, and you can try a bite of your husband’s food without wondering about every ingredient.
You Can Break Bread With Others
People with extreme food allergies may need to eat alone during mealtimes. This can be very isolating because conversations are usually had over the dinner table or in the break room. This lack of socialization is particularly difficult for children. By desensitizing your allergic reaction, you or your child can finally eat with others.
This is especially important for children who feel rejected at lunchtime when they have to eat their lunch alone. However, regardless of age, allergy desensitization means being able to enjoy good company and great conversations over meals.
You’ll Perceive Yourself as Healthier
Your immune system’s overactive response to environmental allergies, such as hay fever or pollen, can truly make you feel ill. Although the histamines alone are innocuous, the side effects of your overactive immune system are real. Symptoms you may experience include:
- Itchy, dry eyes
- An itchy throat
- Runny nose
- Skin conditions, such as rashes
These symptoms can affect your quality of life significantly. You may be unable to keep up with all of your responsibilities if your allergy symptoms are making you feel sick. You may not enjoy social situations as much during certain times of the year, such as spring if you have pollen allergies. Your sleep can even be affected. Even if you’ve learned to live with your allergies through medications that make you drowsy, you don’t have to live with them forever.
You’ll Be Less Fatigued
Allergies, particularly environmental allergies, can make accomplishing tasks difficult. Your body experiences stress when it fights off allergic reactions. This may lead to fatigue and a lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy.
If you manage your allergies with pharmaceuticals, you can feel drowsy, suffer from constipation and GI distress, and experience a dry mouth, nose, or throat. Essentially, this treatment turns off your allergies and turns on your energy. Everything you need to do every day, whether it is meeting a deadline at work or pursuing a new hobby, will be easier.
You Won’t Experience Seasonal Allergies
Some people are allergic to certain trees, grasses, and pollens that only grow during certain times of the year. People commonly experience worse allergies during the autumn months as dry leaves fall and accumulate in large piles. Other people with seasonal allergies suffer the most during the spring and summer when certain plants start to grow.
Even if you don’t have to deal with allergies year-round, allergies can still be very hard to deal with. In fact, it may be more difficult to create effective coping strategies when allergies are seasonal. Consider desensitization therapy, so you can feel good regardless of the time of year.
You’ll Know When You’re Truly Ill
One frustrating thing about allergies is allergy symptoms mimic the symptoms of respiratory illnesses, such as the flu or common cold. If you suffer from environmental allergies regularly, it can be hard for you to tell whether you’re sick with a contagious virus or your allergies are being triggered.
By teaching your body how to respond to histamines, you will be able to tell when you’re actually sick, and you can take steps to protect those around you from catching a virus.
You Will Require Fewer Medications
Sometimes, allergies can be managed with over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Other times, allergy management involves prescription medications that must be filled at a pharmacy. You don’t just have to visit your doctor for prescriptions every month. You also have to go somewhere else to fill the prescriptions, keep them on you at all times, and remember to take the appropriate dosage as directed.
Moreover, you have to deal with side effects to experience allergy relief. Desensitization therapy eliminates your allergies and your need to take expensive prescription medications daily.
You’ll Enjoy the Great Outdoors More
Many people experience worse allergy symptoms when they’re outside. If you love spending time outdoors, it can be hard to decide whether you want to go hiking while drowsy or suffering from allergy symptoms.
Luckily, you can enjoy nature to the fullest when you cure your allergies. All of a sudden, you’ll find outdoor activities, like backpacking, camping, barbecues, and gardening much more enjoyable.
You Can Decorate Your Home However You Want
Dust may result in an asthma attack. Some people clean obsessively. Others remove carpets, drapes, and stuffed animals from their home because they are difficult to clean. With desensitization therapy, you can keep stuffed animals and carpets in your home without vacuuming and steam cleaning daily.
You Don’t Have To Rehome Your Pet
Telling your child your pet needs to be rehomed because it triggers her allergies is heartbreaking. Regrettably, people are commonly allergic to pet dander and purchase or adopt a pet that is not hypoallergenic. Then, they have to make the difficult decision to rehome the pet to relieve allergy symptoms, keep the pet outdoors, or suffer from allergies at home. With desensitization therapy, you will not have to say goodbye to your beloved family pet.
Your Asthma and Eczema Will Be Better Controlled
Eczema and asthma are often triggered by histamines. With allergy desensitization, you can eliminate your body’s excessive response to histamines, eliminating one source of asthma or eczema flare-ups.
Discover for Yourself the Benefits of This Treatment
Can you imagine your life free from allergies? This treatment can eliminate the uncomfortable, inconvenient, dangerous symptoms of allergies. You will not regret eliminating allergies from your life. It is the perfect gift to grant yourself or a loved one. You will have much more freedom to work, live, and socialize with others once you no longer have to worry about triggering an allergic reaction.
Contact us today at Asthma Allergy Centre in Tigard, OR to schedule your initial consultation and learn more. We can’t wait to help you eliminate your allergies and improve your quality of life.