Allergies to pollen, animal dander, and dust can make every day a challenge as you try to avoid or deal with sneezing and streaming eyes. If allergies impact your quality of life, board-certified functional medicine expert Forrest Lanchbury, MD, DVM, of Sedona Regenerative Medicine in Cottonwood, Arizona, can help. Dr. Lanchbury uses immunotherapy to acclimate your body to allergens and switch off distressing allergic reactions. Find out how you could leave allergies in the past by calling the Verde Valley office or scheduling a consultation online.
Immunotherapy is a treatment for allergies, which develop when your immune system overreacts to certain substances, known as allergens. In most cases, these substances are harmless, or in the case of allergens like insect venom, would cause minimal harm in someone without allergies.
Some common allergens include animal dander, pollen, dust, and mold spores. Allergies to these substances cause symptoms that can result in significant disruption to your life and affect your well-being.
To find out what’s causing your allergies, Dr. Lanchbury does tests where he places tiny amounts of possible allergens on your skin. He may make a slight scratch in the skin to allow the allergen to access your body more easily, which is known as a skin prick test. A reaction to the test indicates you're allergic to that substance.
Allergies like hayfever (allergic rhinitis), which pollen often triggers, typically cause symptoms such as:
Antihistamine medication can often help you manage your allergies. However, if your symptoms are severe or not responding to medication, immunotherapy could offer a long-term solution.
Immunotherapy is a process that gradually gets your body used to the substance causing an allergic reaction. Continual exposure to small quantities of the allergen reduces your immune system response, so eventually, your body doesn't overreact when it comes in contact with that substance.
Immunotherapy is especially effective for patients with allergies to insect venom and substances they inhale. However, it doesn't work if you have an allergy to a specific food or medication.
Dr. Lanchbury can administer your immunotherapy treatment at Sedona Regenerative Medicine using injections (allergy shots) or drops that you put under your tongue (sublingual immunotherapy).
Each is effective, but you may have a preference for one over the other. One advantage of sublingual immunotherapy is that you can use it at home rather than having to go in for regular shots. You do need to stick closely to your treatment schedule to ensure your body receives enough of the allergen to develop a tolerance.
It can take a while for immunotherapy to yield results – a year or two in some cases, although this varies between patients. However, when your treatment works, it means you’re free of your allergy from then on.
To find how you could benefit from immunotherapy, call Sedona Regenerative Medicine today or book an appointment online.