Pediatric allergy is the third most common chronic condition among children under the age of 18.1 The rise of food allergy is a growing concern.
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One of the biggest benefits of allergy drops is the ability to treat children – even infants – safely and effectively at a time when the immune system is still developing. Early intervention can help slow or stop the “allergic march” that can result in a host of other chronic and debilitating allergy-related conditions if left untreated.
Food allergy is associated with significant conditions such as asthma, chronic ill health, and chronic headaches, among others. Historically, food allergy has been managed through avoidance, leading to associated problems such as frustration, feelings of inferiority, accidental exposure, teenage risk taking behavior, etc.
Sublingual immunotherapy for food allergens can offer improved outcomes, better adherence, and safety for many allergic children. We find most food allergens respond to sublingual immunotherapy, including common allergens such as milk, wheat, and corn, as well as those associated with anaphylactic reactions including peanut, tree nuts, shellfish, and eggs.
Sublingual immunotherapy for environmental allergens can address chronic conditions including allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, and other associated conditions. Its safety, our patients’ response over the past 45 years, and improved compliance – especially with kids – have led us to offer it as the preferred treatment over subcutaneous immunotherapy.
Testing pediatric patients for allergies includes a limited amount of skin testing, blood testing (RAST) for specific antibodies, and food challenges under direct clinical supervision. When combined, these approaches allow for accurate diagnosis. Repeat testing is done as needed to determine sublingual immunotherapy dose escalation and to help assess clinical progress.
- Emanuel, I., Parker, M., Traub, O. (2009). Undertreatment of allergy: Exploring the utility of sublingual immunotherapy. Otlolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, 140, 615-621.
- Branum, A., Lukacs, S. (2008). Food Allergy Among U.S. Children: Trends in Prevalence and Hospitalizations. National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, 10, 1-7.