Fall should be full of pumpkin patch visits, apple-picking and outdoor football games, not the sneezes, sniffles and itchy, watery eyes that you may experience if you have allergic rhinitis (hay fever). However, you can take steps to stop these annoying symptoms by seeking allergy treatment from an ENT physician.
The Pros and Cons of Different Allergy Treatments
Your doctor will perform skin testing to determine which allergens cause you problems. Once you know what you’re allergic to, you’ll follow an individualized treatment plan, which may include:
- Allergen Avoidance—Wearing a mask outside or putting on sunglasses to reduce the amount of pollen hitting your eyes are just a few ways to limit your exposure.
Pro—Avoidance is easy to do. Con—You have to remember to do the strategies consistently, and even then, you may experience symptoms.
- Over-the-Counter or Prescription Allergy Medications—Common medications include eye drops, antihistamines and nasal corticosteroids.
Pro—They offer immediate, short-term symptom relief. Con—They don’t treat your body’s inflammation response, so symptoms return once the medication wears off.
- Immunotherapy—Immunotherapy works by introducing small amounts of an allergen to your body over time to gradually increase your tolerance, reducing or eliminating your symptoms. Pro–Immunotherapy is highly effective, providing long-term relief that continues even after you stop receiving treatment. Con—It can take years to complete treatment.
There are two types of immunotherapy options:
- Allergy Shots—You’ll get an injection weekly at your doctor’s office for the first three to six months, then monthly for three to five years. Allergy shots help reduce hay fever symptoms in about 85% of people with allergic rhinitis.1
- Allergy Drops—You’ll self-administer allergy drops once daily at home for three to five years. According to a 2012 study, allergy drops were as effective as shots at treating nasal allergies.2
The right treatment plan for you depends on your unique needs. But don’t delay—the sooner you seek help, the sooner you can get relief. Request your allergy consultation today.
1 ACAAI. (n.d.). Allergy facts. https://acaai.org/allergies/allergies-101/facts-stats/
2 Saporta, D. (2012). Efficacy of sublingual immunotherapy versus subcutaneous injection immunotherapy in allergic patients. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/492405/