What Is Immunotherapy?

Think of your immune system as a team of bodyguards dedicated to guarding your health. They do a great job repelling common irritants like germs and bacteria, but sometimes a harmless substance sets off a false alarm, convincing your bodyguards to go on the attack. This results in the itching, inflammation, and a host of other symptoms you’re probably familiar with. This is what we call an allergic reaction.

Immunotherapy trains the body to reduce these false alarms. By exposing your immune system to increasingly stronger doses of an allergen through injections or drops, your team of tiny bodyguards will gradually learn the difference between the allergen and an actual health hazard.

Unlike other treatment options, immunotherapy targets the cause of the underlying condition rather than the symptoms, thereby reducing the effects of your allergies and improving your overall health.

According to research, the effects of immunotherapy can last 5–10 years or longer, allowing you to enjoy daily activities outdoors or the company of pets without watery eyes or a scratchy throat affecting your quality of life.

Subcutaneous Immunotherapy Versus Sublingual Immunotherapy

Once you’ve been tested by your physician, we’ll develop a treatment plan. We offer two types of highly effective treatment — injections and drops — also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).

Both methods have been proven effective and safe. The big difference between the two is time commitment. Whether you choose injections or drops, your allergy specialist will be closely monitoring your condition. If you can free up time in your schedule to visit the clinic each week, you may decide that injections are right for you. Additionally, most insurance companies cover the cost associated with injections. Consult your allergy specialist for a comprehensive explanation of your options.

Drops could appeal to patients who can’t commit to frequent clinic visits. Instead of shots, you’ll receive a vial of specially formulated drops to be taken orally three times per day. Periodically, your doctor may retest you with a limited number of antigens to ensure treatment is as safe and effective as possible. If you’re visiting the clinic for your first treatment, you should expect to stay for thirty minutes after receiving your vial to monitor for an allergic reaction.