Having severe allergies can strike fear in the needle-phobic as they may think that they need allergy shots to combat the allergic reactions. This is not always the case. Severe allergies can be treated with medication sublingually. Sublingual means under the tongue. Dr. Christine Gilliam from Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, offers SLIT, which stands for sublingual immunotherapy. SLIT has the potential to reduce or eliminate allergic reactions. And the best part - no needles involved! Read on to learn more about SLIT and if it seems like an option that you would like to try.
What is Allergy Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)?
SLIT is a method of immunotherapy that involves consistently introducing a very small amount of your allergen to the body. This is done in the hopes that your immune system adapts to it and no longer sees it as a threat and causes an allergic reaction. With SLIT, the allergen is introduced by way of drops placed under the tongue. Allergy treatment using SLIT in San Antonio, TX is a great alternative form of immunotherapy for children and other patients who feel anxiety over the prospect of needing allergy shots due to a fear of needles.
How does SLIT work?
This immunotherapy couldn't be easier or safer. It involves placing a couple of drops under the tongue every morning, holding the drops there for 2 minutes, and then swallowing. It is advised to refrain from eating for 15 minutes after taking the allergy drops. SLIT is a long-term treatment, as are all forms of immunotherapy, of generally 3 to 5 years. It is overwhelmingly well-tolerated with very minor side effects reported.
This option is superior to other medications you take when you have symptoms, which are akin to placing a band-aid on the problem. SLIT is addressing the root of the problem. While it will take a while to reap the full benefits, after you begin taking SLIT, the first allergy season that you live through will be slightly better. And every allergy season after that will be even better.
Is SLIT FDA approved?
SLIT is a relatively new form of treating allergies in the United States. However, it is not at all a new treatment itself. SLIT has been used in Europe for years with great results. Documented evidence is simply lacking in the US to garner full FDA approval. SLIT is currently undergoing extensive testing and research to determine efficacy and we have every reason to believe that this form of immunotherapy will have full FDA approval soon.
If you or your child has severe allergies along with a fear of needles, sublingual immunotherapy may be the solution to the dilemma. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Gilliam from Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX to discuss SLIT and its benefits. You can reach us by calling (210) 647-3838.