Most people are aware that allergies can be improved or even cured with immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots. However, many people are not aware that this is not their only option. For many years, immunotherapy has also been available in the form of sublingual drops. Each form of immunotherapy has benefits and drawbacks. By assessing the pros and cons of each, you can pick the therapy option that works best for you.
Do Allergy Shots and Drops Work?
People who suffer from allergies often have to deal with symptoms that can include headaches, watery eyes, sneezing, or a runny nose. If you have asthma, allergies can aggravate it. Many people with allergies also often have complications like chronic sinusitis.
Both allergy shots and drops have a long track record of safe and effective use. Treatment can reduce allergy symptoms and reliance on medication. Both therapies use small amounts of allergens to gradually desensitize you to substances that cause your allergic reactions. People who have undergone immunotherapy treatment often find that they are less prone to allergy attacks. This, in turn, can also reduce other issues such as sinus infection and chronic sinusitis.
The Pros and Cons of Allergy Shots
Allergy shots have been around for a long time. For over 100 years, doctors have been giving patients small doses of antigens through injections in a bid to reduce patients’ sensitivity to allergens. Many people wonder, do allergy shots work? The answer is, for most people, they either completely eliminate or strongly reduce allergy sensitivities. However, it can take as long as three to five years for either allergy shots or drops to work.
Because they are an established treatment, allergy shots are typically covered by insurance, which makes them a more affordable option for some patients. However, some people find the frequent clinic visits required during allergy shot treatment inconvenient.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Allergy Drops
Allergy drops involve the same medications that are used in allergy shots. However, instead of being injected, allergy drops are administered as sublingual immunotherapy. Each day, a drop is administered under the tongue.
Allergy drops allow you to make fewer clinic visits than allergy shots. They also allow you to avoid injections; if you find allergy shots painful or if you are afraid of needles, this can be a huge benefit.
As with any treatment option, there are also drawbacks to allergy drops. Allergy drops are considered an off-label use of FDA-approved antigen medication. Because of this, your insurance may not cover the cost of the drops. However, they may cover the cost of your office visits and allergy testing. If you have a Health Savings Account or Flex Spending Account, these funds can be used to pay for allergy drop treatment.
In the end, each choice has factors that could make it the right choice for you. Make an appointment today to talk to our doctors and learn which can be the best fit to help reduce allergy symptoms and find lasting relief.