Tallahassee Ear, Nose and Throat now offers allergy testing and treatment. These services are under the direction of Matthew Connor, M.D. who is board certified in otolaryngology and experienced in the diagnosis and management of allergy.
Before considering allergy drops as an option for your allergy symptoms, allergy testing must be performed to accurately identify and confirm your specific allergic triggers. Allergy testing can be performed through simple blood test or skin tests.
Allergy Drops, also known as sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a longer lasting treatment for allergies and allergic asthma. Like "allergy shots" patients are given very dilute, oral doses of the substances (allergens) which trigger their allergy symptoms. However, unlike "allergy shots" the doses are given in their mouth under the tongue. Most people respond well to allergy drops, noticing their allergy symptoms diminish over the course of treatment as the immune system is re-trained and desensitized to offending allergens.
The most common allergies treated with allergy drops include Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever), Allergic Conjunctivitis (Watery/Itchy Eyes) and Allergic Asthma.
Allergy Drops and allergy shots are both similar in that both aim to desensitize the immune system to offending allergens. One of the main differences is that allergy drops delivers the allergen doses orally without the use of a syringe, while allergy shot does are usually delivered in the arm the same way you would receive a vaccine.
Allergy shots must be administered in a physician's office and require up to 3 office visits per the week during the initial weeks of treatment, followed by once weekly visits for three to five years. Allergy Drops require far fewer office visits as most of the doses can be taken by the patient at home. Typically the patients only need to come in for an office visit for the first dose in each treatment phase. The frequency of office visits is commonly 1 office visit every three months.
Many insurance plans only partially cover the cost of allergy shots. Specialist co-pays, time taken off from work, and travel to the doctor's office can add up quickly, as weekly office visits are often required with allergy shots. Although Allergy drops are not covered by most insurance plans, there are significantly fewer office visits and copays. Taking time off from work and travel to the doctor's office are substantially reduced as well. When all of these factors are calculated, allergy drops can have an overall lower cost versus shots.