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Spring is Here (and So Are My Allergies!)
By Lauren D. Loya, M.D.

If you suffer with allergies, especially in the spring and fall, you are an expert in misery! Most people do one of two things: 1. use over-the-counter medications to alleviate the symptoms or 2. get tested and subject themselves to painful, weekly allergy shots for years. There is a third alternative: allergy drops.

An allergy is a reaction of your immune system to what are usually harmless, run-of-the-mill substances that most people's bodies don't perceive as dangerous. The body over-reacts to the allergen. Histamine is released when the body is exposed to the allergen and causes inflammation of the sinuses, nose, mucus membranes of the eyes as well as other uncomfortable symptoms.

Allergy drops consist of natural allergens in a glycerin base – the same vaccine that allergists use through injections. Like injection immunotherapy, allergy drops stimulate the immune system to protect against environmental airborne allergens without drug side effects. The drops can be self-administered under the tongue without the risk of dangerous reactions (such as anaphylactic shock).

  • Approximately 55 percent of all U.S. citizens test positive to one or more allergens.
  • Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic disease in the United States.
  • Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is the reason for over 15 million doctor office visits each year.
  • People who suffer from sinusitis miss about 4 days of work each year because of their illness.
  • Allergic dermatitis (itchy rash) is the most common skin condition in children younger than 11 years of age. The percentage of children diagnosed with it has increased from 3% in the 1960s to 10% in the 1990s.
  • If one parent has allergic disease, the estimated risk of a child to develop allergies is 48%; the child’s estimated risk grows to 70% if both parents have a history of allergies.

Allergy Drops are medically proven based on protocols back by hundreds of medical studies and articles in top medical journals over the past 20 years. The drops can reverse symptoms and usually begin working within a few months and sometimes within a few weeks. They can be used in children as young as four and adults of all ages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe for patients to administer the drops at home?
Yes. Patients are taught how to self-administer the drops. The initial dose is administered in the physician’s office to ensure the proper following of procedures.

Do the drops really work? What types of studies have been done?
There have been numerous scientific studies and medical articles in the past decade that confirm the effectiveness of sublingual immunotherapy. The World Health Organization reported in 1998 that “well designed studies employing high-dose sublingual-swallow immunotherapy provide evidence that this form of therapy may be a viable alternative to injections therapy in the treatment of allergic airway disease.”

Are allergy drops FDA-approved?
Allergy Vaccines are currently FDA-approved for injections only. Although chemically the drops contain the same vaccines as allergy injections, providing them sublingually is considered “off-label” and therefore is not FDA approved.

Are the allergy drops covered by insurance?
Since the drops are considered “off-label” they are not covered by insurance. However the office visits and testing may be covered depending on the insurance plan.

Can I get my allergy drops from my regular pharmacy?
No. Allergy drops are considered a biological vaccine. It is not a drug that must be processed by the liver or kidney. The drops work to build your immune system. The drops are customized in a physician’s office.

For more information, visit www.PittsburghAllergy.net.
Dr. Lauren Loya of the Hormone Restoration Center, can be reached at (412) 432-7909 or visit www.hormonecenter.net.

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