Allergen immunotherapy switches off allergy

Ellen Health doctors and nurses help to manage a number of allergic conditions such as hay fever, asthma, bee sting reactions and anaphylaxis.  We work closely with immunologists and allergy specialists to provide an efficient “immunotherapy” service for our patients.

Although medications available for allergy are usually very effective, they do not cure people of allergies. Allergen immunotherapy is the closest thing we have to a “cure” for allergy, reducing the severity of symptoms and the need for medication for many allergy sufferers.

Allergen immunotherapy involves the regular administration of gradually increasing doses of allergen extracts over a period of years. Immunotherapy can be given to patients as an injection or as drops or tablets under the tongue (sublingual).

Allergen immunotherapy changes the way the immune system reacts to allergens, by switching off the allergy. The end result is that you become immune to the allergens, so that you can tolerate them with fewer or no symptoms.

Allergen immunotherapy is not, however, a quick fix form of treatment. Those agreeing to allergen immunotherapy need to be committed to 3-5 years of treatment for it to work, and to cooperate with your doctor to minimise the frequency of side effects.

Allergen immunotherapy is often recommended for treatment of allergic rhinitis (hay fever), due to pollen or dust mite allergy, when symptoms are severe. The cause is difficult to avoid (such as grass pollen) and medications don’t help or can cause adverse side effects.