A new form of allergy treatments, called “sublingual immunotherapy” (SLIT) is starting to gain popularity in the United States and we are one of the few allergy offices offering this therapy in Southern California. Allergen immunotherapy is a method of exposing the body to very small amounts of environmental allergens to which you are sensitive over an extended period of time so that you slowly become tolerant to those allergens and have have fewer allergy and asthma symptoms.
Studies show that sublingual immunotherapy may be as effective as traditional allergy shots, or subcutaneous immunotherapy, but there are not enough head-to-head-comparison studies to show this for certain.
WHAT SYMPTOMS DO WE EXPECT TO IMPROVE WITH SLIT?
We expect SLIT to work for nasal allergy symptoms (itchy nose, runny nose, nasal congestion) as well as asthma symptoms (cough, wheeze, difficulty breathing), and possibly eczema symptoms. Sublingual immunotherapy is a new, more convenient, and safer method of allergen immunotherapy.
WHAT IS IN THE SUBLINGUAL DROPS?
The sublingual drops contain the allergens you are sensitive to (e.g. grass pollen, tree pollen, dust mite) mixed in glycerin. There are no actual medications in the drops. Our drops are specially formulated for you by our Board Certified allergists.
NEW ALLERGY MEDICATIONS Some of the new allergy medications I have been prescribing:
Dymista nasal spray – this is a great new combination of a nasal steroid (fluticasone) and a nasal antihistamine (azelastine) in one! Currently the only combination nasal spray available. One spray twice a day does the function of two separate sprays – you get the quick action of an antihistamine as well as the long-lasting anti-inflammatory benefits of a nasal steroid. As with any product containing nasal steroids, make sure you point this nasal spray towards your ears, away from the nasal septum/middle of your nose. If you are very sensitive to/get sleepy with antihistamines, then simply use both sprays at bedtime. Dymista Website
Zetonna and Qnasl nasal aerosols – these nasal steroids are great for patients who don’t like the drippy feeling of nasal sprays. They are aerosols so dry very quickly when they get to where they need to get. Some may take a little time getting used to the pressure of the aerosol spray. Zetonna has the additional benefit of having ciclesonide – a steroid prodrug which acts like a steroid only at the nasal mucosa but doesn’t have unwanted steroid effects in other parts of the body. As with any product containing nasal steroids, make sure you point these nasal aerosols towards your ears, away from the nasal septum/middle of your nose.
Auvi –Q – this is a new epinephrine device to be carried at all time by anyone with severe allergic reaction to anything. It serves the same purpose of the Epipen but has some very useful features including voice guided instruction on use and a very easy to carry device – size and shape of a small cell phone! I like this especially for my pediatrics patients and for use at schools or camps. I’m currently trying to help with getting all our school nurses trained on using this new device. The voice guided instructions can help someone who is anxious or scared (as is common during a severe allergic reaction!) use the device correctly. And the device can also be used immediately without the voice guided instructions.
Perfect for schools, summer camps, and parents and easy to carry in your pocket for anyone! Auvi-Q website