In the U.S., 20 percent of adults and nearly 40 percent of children are affected by environmental allergies. Symptoms can range from itchy, watery eyes, a stuffy, runny nose and sneezing, to wheezing and coughing. Americans commonly refer to these symptoms as "hayfever."
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, there are five main allergy offenders which include trees, grasses, weeds, molds and dust mites. These pesky culprits account for approximately 1.5 million school days missed annually and 28 million days of lost productivity for adults. Globally, there has been a 100 percent increase in the prevalance of "hayfever" or allergic rhinitis in each of the last three decades in developed countries. 1
Many people with mild to severe environmental allergies look to sublingual immunotherapy when avoiding their allergies and treating with medication such as anti-histamines are not working. Allergies impact quality of life, and treating the underlying allergy improves symptoms and reduces the likelihood of new sensitivities developing. In the long run, immunotherapy has benefits you can't achieve from medications which just treat symptoms. Immunotherapy, whether allergy shots or allergy drops, is the only treatment that modifies allergic disease.
At Allergy Associates of La Crosse, we will help you identify your environmental allergies through one or more of our testing options. Once we have a complete inventory of your allergies, we will prescribe one or more types of allergy drops in addition to symptomatic medications, however your need for these medications will decrease over time. Some patients respond to sublingual immunotherapy treatment slowly and some respond quickly. As you might expect, it depends on the patient, the allergies' severity and how much allergen the patient is exposed to. The average treatment for environmental allergies lasts three to five years.
Sources: 1. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology