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Good time to check on those allergies

Well, allergy season is coming to an end. And for some people, your response might be “Thank goodness!”.

Skin prick allergy testPollen and mold counts are low and symptoms have diminished. The Allegra, Claritin, or Zyrtec may not be needed as much. Thoughts and efforts regarding your allergies might be fading into the background now. But wait. Not so fast. This is actually an excellent time to think about your seasonal allergies. Here’s why.

Let’s say that you have been aware of your allergies for quite some time, but have never taken definitive action to control them. I’m talking about allergy skin testing and allergy shots.

When you are at the height of allergy season, doing skin testing and allergy shots can be significantly more difficult because you are already overloaded with exposures. Your body can only take so much allergy stimulation. That means your skin reactions may be more severe during testing, AND that when you start trying to do allergy shots, you may have a very difficult time raising the dose and strength of the shot because doing so causes big arm reactions, or worse, even systemic reactions. The end result is a more long and drawn out period of getting to your maintenance dose.

So here’s the point I’m making:  If you have significant seasonal allergies that affect you in more than one season, and you have to take medications for them, now would be a good time to consider allergy skin testing, and if positive to enough things (antigens), begin weekly allergy shots. When allergy shots are started during NON-allergy season, build-up of your dose and concentration, and reaching maintenance dose is faster, easier, and SAFER. And that way, you will already be protected against getting allergy symptoms from a lot of things by the time you would expect to be getting them again next year.

Our allergy nurse, Joan, is fantastic at skin testing, preparing allergy serums, and administering allergy injections. Oh, and one more thing that is really cool. AIH is one of the few places in Illinois where you can get allergy immunotherapy and DROPS UNDER YOUR TONGUE at HOME every day, rather than having to do weekly shots in our office.

This therapy, called SLIT (SubLingual ImmunoTherapy) is just as effective and, listen, SAFER than allergy shots. If that sounds good to you, please give us a call to see Dr. Epperly to get evaluated, and together, you and he can figure out the best plan for you.

At AIH, we are committed to getting to the cause of your problems as much as possible, instead of simply putting you on more medication. Allergy immunotherapy is another example of that.

Dr William EpperlyDr. William Epperly, Fellow American Academy of Family Practice
Fellow American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy
Member of Christian Medical and Dental Society