Over-the-counter allergy medications and nasal steroids may be great in relieving allergy symptoms but they only last for the short term. Immunotherapy commonly referred to as allergy shots is the choice method for obtaining long term reprieve from allergy symptoms.
Dr. Bobby Lanier, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, executive medical director states The most frequent questions from patients are all those drugs really needed. That statement has prompted a revised interest in allergy immunotherapy as a choice treatment for long term lasting effects.
Dr. Lanier explains it is the only allergy treatment which has proven to stop the progress of allergic disease, decrease risk of asthma development and give long term enduring effects from allergy symptoms. Studies have proven it does decrease the need of medications along with health care expenses. In contrast to medications, allergen immunotherapy has an extensive record of being safe in children, the elderly and pregnant women.
Since the very first published study in 1911, immunotherapy has been proven to be a safe and effective treatment to fight allergens which include mold, pollen, insects and animals along with being effective for allergic asthma. The treatment ends the source of suffering for the patient rather than just treating the symptoms.
The immunization process starts with injections of small amounts of purified extracts of substances which produce the reaction. The FDA has granted approval for this use.
Alternative ways for immunotherapy are showing encouraging new treatments in the near future.
One of which is sublingual immunotherapy(SLIT), in taking the allergens into the body by maintaining drops or tables in the mouth under the tongue. Instead of injections, the allergens are going through the tissues in the mouth. SLIT can be done at home by a person and is being used in Europe and Latin countries. Currently, the FDA has not approved it for use in the United States but it is considered investigational.
Even though SLIT offers the ease of convenience opposed to traditional immunotherapy and seems to be safe, there are several major barriers for it to be approved in the United States. Among the is standard dosages, frequency and duration.
Most persons in the United States are allergic to more than one allergen. SLIT studies have not shown effectiveness for multiple allergens. Traditional immunotherapy has been proven to be effective in that area.
Even though allergy shots have proven effectiveness and are for the most part totally safe, they can produce side effects. There is a small chance of allergic reactions which could be severe. Normally, these shots produce a small amount of swelling or redness at the injection site. This can happen immediately or several hours afterward. It is usually harmless and goes away after one day.
The shots can also produce symptoms very similar to allergy symptoms including stuffy nose, watery eyes and sneezing. In rare cases they can become severe and are associated with other symptoms that include hard time breathing and tightness in the chest.
Many Americans are using alternative treatments for their allergies and asthma. Studies have indicated that in allergies and asthma, is the second most common reasons persons use alternative treatments. Back pain ranks the number one reason.
Here are a few of the choice alternatives for allergies and asthma.
Ephedra: This herb used as a whole herb relieves swelling of mucous membranes and has spasm reducing properties. It is used to open air passages in cases of asthma and hay fever. It should be used as a whole herb in tea. Avoid the supplements.
Eyebright: This herb has been used for thousands of years and is still popular with herbalists. The eyebright tea is used as a eyewash and in a compress for the relief of swollen, watery and itchy eyes.
Gingko: Gingko bilboa and ginkgolides halt the factors which cause asthma and allergies.
Reishi Mushrooms: Are well noted for their medical and health properties. Among them is the ability to decrease allergy symptoms and decrease inflammation of histamine.
Chinese herbs and Acupuncture:
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs work in combination to improve the bodies immune system.
Acupuncture is used frequently in cases of asthma and allergies. Acupuncture treatments focus on the root of the cause of the reactions.
Chinese herbs are also used to correct the imbalances and improve the immune system. Most of the Chinese medicines are in formulas in which use a combination of herbs. Jade Wind Screen is one of the most effective formulas used . It balances the bodies immune system and decreases symptoms of allergies.
Acupressure has also been used in place of acupuncture for persons who do not like needles and in children who accept the practice more readily.
Chinese Cupping has also been used for many different kinds of respiratory conditions among them asthma in order to open up the lungs.
Chiropractic manipulations and other therapies have been proven greatly effective for asthma and allergies especially in children which most parents use chiropractic care to treat their children with asthma.
Chiropractic care corrects the disturbances to the nerves and immune system which is the original cause of asthma and allergies. Misalignment's in the vertebra cause irritation to the nerves which travel between the brain and spinal cord that are supplying the respiratory and immune systems. Asthma and allergies can be corrected and prevented without the need of medications by correcting the misalignment's.
Many research studies have shown chiropractic to aide in asthma and allergies symptoms which greatly decrease the symptoms and in cases have been known to eliminate them.