Drug-free Allergy Treatment

Nasal inhalers, antihistamine or decongestant pills, corticosteroids—they can all take allergy symptoms down a notch, but at what cost? While many of these medications are helpful in the short-term, they can cause side effects that, in some cases, may be as bothersome as the allergy symptom itself.

Drug-free Allergy Treatment

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Side effects
While not everyone will experience side effects from allergy medications, many people will. For antihistamines, these side effects could include drowsiness, dizziness and dry mouth. Antihistamines have even been linked to depression and dementia. Decongestants can trigger an irregular heartbeat and cause dryness and rebound congestion. Oral corticosteroids can lead to weight gain, acne, fluid retention, osteoporosis and more.

Medications provide many answers, but they may not be the right choice for everyone. Patients who want an alternative allergy treatment that is free of the negative effects of synthetic medications are turning increasingly to sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).

What is sublingual immunotherapy?
SLIT starts with a saline solution containing natural allergen extracts. This solution, sometimes called “allergy serum,” is dosed as liquid droplets under the tongue that absorb into the bloodstream through specialized oral cells. The treatment is a lot like allergy shots, but it is safe enough to be administered at home. That means that you don’t have to drive back and forth to the doctor’s office a couple of times per week for injections.

The extracts in the serum represent the very things that you are allergic to, which may include food proteins, pollens, and more. As your body is gradually exposed to these allergen extracts, it learns to tolerate them. In essence, sublingual immunotherapy is retraining your immune system to ignore allergens rather than overreacting to them.

When did this treatment come about?
Sublingual immunotherapy was developed in the mid-1980s. It is very popular in many countries, especially in Europe where it is prescribed in nearly half of allergy treatment cases.

How long will it take to see results?
The allergy drops are taken daily and may produce faster results than allergy shots. Most patients see marked improvement by the time they report for their three-month checkup, and it is not uncommon for patients to start experiencing symptom relief within the first month of taking the drops.

How much does sublingual immunotherapy cost?
Most insurance plans cover testing and doctor visits; some insurance plans cover the drops themselves. Contact a sublingual immunotherapy clinic to find out if your insurance will cover treatment.

Does sublingual immunotherapy help with food allergies?
SLIT has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for food allergies and can help desensitize you to dozens of the most common food allergens.

To find out if you are a candidate for a natural food allergy treatment or pollen allergy treatment program, visit www.AllergyEasy.com.

About The Author

Stuart H. Agren, M.D.

Stuart H. Agren, M.D. completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah and went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1974. He completed additional training at L.D.S. Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and then established his private medical practice starting in 1975. Dr. Agren completed a mini-residency in Industrial Medicine at the Robert Johnson School of Medicine at Rutgers University and also completed training to become a certified Medical Review Officer.

Dr. Agren was the Medical Director at TRW and McDonnell Douglas in Mesa, Arizona and at Stauffer Chemical and Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University.

In his private medical practice, Dr. Agren specialized in family practice and allergy. In his work as a private practice allergist, he was one of the first doctors in the country to prescribe sublingual immunotherapy to his patients as an alternative to subcutaneous immunotherapy (allergy shots). He has also been a trailblazer in the field of food allergy treatment and research, developing a program to treat multiple food allergies simultaneously using sublingual immunotherapy. Dr. Agren has been featured on local CBS, NBC, and ABC news affiliates and won the peer-nominated “Top Doc” award from Phoenix Magazine.

After 20 years in private practice, Dr. Agren became the Founder and President of AllergyEasy, which helps primary care physicians around the country offer allergy testing and sublingual immunotherapy treatment to their patients. Over 200 physicians in over 32 states use the AllergyEasy program to help their patients overcome environmental and food allergies and asthma.