Who are Good Candidates for Sublingual Immunotherapy?

Talk to an ENT About How SLIT Can Help Your Allergies

Who are Good Candidates for Sublingual Immunotherapy?If you’re one of 45 million Americans who have allergies, you likely have a variety of uncomfortable symptoms. Most often, allergies in Los Angeles come in the spring and fall months as plants and trees begin to bloom. An unlucky few will have these symptoms year-round!

If you suffer from allergies, you likely have at least two of the following symptoms:

Luckily, all of the above allergy issues can be treated by visiting an ENT for immunotherapy in Los Angeles.

The most common treatment for allergies is often over-the-counter medications. Taking these medications once or twice a day often keeps allergy symptoms and discomfort at bay. The most common allergy medications are:

  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec, Zyrtec Allergy)
  • Desloratadine (Clarinex)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra, Allegra Allergy)
  • Levocetirizine (Xyzal, Xyzal Allergy)
  • Loratadine (Alavert, Claritin)

If over-the-counter medications are not doing enough to stop your discomfort. If this is the case with your allergies, then the second option most ENT specialists in Los Angeles will give you is allergy shots. Allergy shots can be administered by a Los Angeles ENT specialist on a regular basis over a period of time, usually three to five years.

Allergy shots can stop or reduce allergy attacks. They work by exposing the patient to a small amount of the specific substance they are allergic to, called allergens. The shots will contain an extremely minuscule amount so that they stimulate your immune system without causing a full-blown allergic reaction.

Allergy shots are not for everyone, especially if you don’t like needles or frequent visits to the doctor’s office. In Los Angeles, the traffic and general busy lifestyle of its inhabitants make these visits difficult to schedule and attend. Additionally, the coronavirus pandemic has started a culture of staying at home. If allergy shots are not working for you, our Los Angeles allergy doctors can suggest a pain-free method that can be used at home. This may sound like a miracle to those with severe allergy issues in Los Angeles, and it’s called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT).

What is SLIT?

Sublingual immunotherapy is administered by putting allergy drops under the tongue. Over time, they will become more tolerant of those allergens. This means the patient will require less allergy medication and have fewer allergy symptoms over time.

One of the biggest appeals of SLIT is how the drops don’t require the help of a medical professional; you can slip the drops under your tongue at home. This treatment works great whether you are a busybody or a homebody. As the medical field progresses toward telemedicine, our allergy specialists in Los Angeles expect this method of treating allergy symptoms to become extremely popular.

Am I a Good Candidate for SLIT?

Most people with allergies will benefit from using allergy drops. If you talk to your ENT doctor in Los Angeles about the possibility of being prescribed allergy drops, they will first want to make sure what you are allergic to. They will conduct a traditional allergy test, which does involve pricking your skin and may cause discomfort, but this is a required step in order to make your immunotherapy effective.

In addition to people who don’t want to physically show up in the doctor’s office, a vast majority of patients the ENTs of Westside Head & Neck see on a regular basis.

Babies & Children

If your child has eczema or frequent ear infections, then it’s likely due to an underlying allergy that shows itself through these symptoms. Treating these issues early can greatly protect them from sensitivity later in life. Allergy drops are a much easier administered treatment compared to allergy shots, as almost every parent will avoid giving their children shots if there’s an effective alternative.

Patients With Asthma

Asthma is often triggered by pollen or other allergens in the air. Sublingual immunotherapy can help those with asthma become desensitized to their allergic triggers, greatly reducing asthma attacks and the need for expensive inhalers.

Patients With Chronic Conditions Including Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is one of the most common conditions we treat, as it’s extremely uncomfortable and can lead to infections and inflammation. If your chronic sinus condition is triggered by a mold allergy, you won’t always be able to avoid this trigger. Instead, try SLIT to treat the underlying mold allergy, reducing occurrences of sinusitis and reducing the future need for surgery.

Patients with Multiple Allergies

If you’re one of those people who’s allergic to what feels like nearly everything, SLIT may be an effective allergy therapy for you. Studies show that patients with multiple allergies to substances like dust, pollen, pet dander, and mold can develop a tolerance even when treated for multiple allergens at once.

Long-Term Benefits of SLIT

Just like allergy shots, SLIT needs to be administered under the tongue on a regular basis to allow your body to build up a tolerance. While it may take a few years, allergy drops can greatly improve your reaction to certain allergens and reduce the likelihood of new allergies developing.

It’s also been shown that sublingual immunotherapy has long-lasting effects, so you don’t have to worry about your sensitivities returning. Many of our patients agree that SLIT has benefits not offered by any other allergy treatment on the market.

About Westside Head & Neck

The board-certified ENT doctors of Westside Head & Neck treat all general conditions of the ear, nose, and throat. Every doctor under Westside Head & Neck has extensive training in the treatment of:

  • Voice and swallowing disorders
  • Advanced head & neck surgical oncology
  • Hearing and ear problems

Even more serious conditions such as neck, mouth, and throat cancer can also be diagnosed and operated on by ENTs. We accept most PPO insurance plans, Medicare, and select HMO’s to keep hearing, swallowing, and breathing relief open to more Los Angelenos. Our two offices are located in Santa Monica and Culver City. To set up an appointment to discuss your ENT issues with any of our physicians at either location, please call (310) 361-5128 or email appointments@westsidehn.com.

Head & Neck Cancer

Head & Neck Cancer is a term used to describe a number of different malignant tumors that develop in or around the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses, and mouth.

Most head and neck cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, meaning they begin in the flat, squamous cells that make up the thin surface layer of the structures in the head and neck. Directly beneath this lining, which is called the epithelium, some areas of the head and neck have a layer of moist tissue, called the mucosa. If a cancer is limited to the squamous layer of cells, it is called carcinoma in situ. If the cancer has grown beyond this cell layer and moved into the deeper tissue, then it is called invasive squamous cell carcinoma.

Types of Head & Neck Cancer

There are five main types of head and neck cancer, each named according to the part of the body where they develop.   For more information, including signs and symptoms about each different form of  head and neck cancers listed below, click on the links below to read more on Cancer.net.

Laryngeal and Hypopharyngeal Cancer. The larynx is commonly called the voice box. It is a tube-shaped organ in the neck that is important for breathing, talking, and swallowing. It is located at the top of the windpipe, or trachea. The hypopharynx is also called the gullet. It is the lower part of the throat that surrounds the larynx.

Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Cancer. The nasal cavity is the space just behind the nose where air passes on the way to the throat. The paranasal sinuses are the air-filled areas that surround the nasal cavity.

Nasopharyngeal Cancer. The nasopharynx is the air passageway at the upper part of the throat behind the nose.

Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer. The oral cavity includes the mouth and tongue. The oropharynx includes the middle of the throat from the tonsils to the tip of the voice box.

Salivary Gland Cancer. The salivary gland is tissue that produces saliva, which is the fluid that is released into the mouth to keep it moist and that contains enzymes that begin breaking down food.

Information above provided by & approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board06/2014

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