Treat Allergies Without Shots
Needle shy? You may be relieved to learn that, if you suffer from allergies, shots aren’t your only hope for better wrangling your symptoms.
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a type of immunotherapy, which means it involves exposing your immune system to small doses of an allergen to help you better tolerate it. However, instead of requiring a shot in your arm, you place tablets or drops containing the allergen under your tongue.
Over time, SLIT can help reduce your symptoms. Currently, SLIT is available to help treat allergies to:
- Dust mites
How Does It Work?
Your allergist will perform testing to find out what triggers your symptoms. Then, you’ll put a drop or tablet containing an extract of the allergen under your tongue for one to two minutes before swallowing it.
You’ll repeat this process a few days per week or daily, depending on your allergist’s instructions. SLIT isn’t a quick fix. You may need to stick with it for several years in order to experience long-term immunity.
Is SLIT Right for You?
If you’re allergic to one thing, such as grass, then SLIT may be an option for you, because it can only contain one allergen at a time. However, if you’re allergic to multiple items, then shots may be your best bet, since they can offer relief against several allergens.
Some patients may prefer the convenience of SLIT, since you can take it on your own at home. Meanwhile, allergy shots require a trip to your allergist’s office each time. To learn more, ask your allergist whether SLIT could be a good fit for you.
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