The goal of allergy treatment is to prevent the allergy symptoms from occurring. This usually includes learning how to avoid the allergens, whether it be pet, dust, pollen, or even certain foods.
While, there is no cure for allergy, it can be managed effectively by a combination of treatments. The treatments include Avoidance, Medications and Allergen Immunotherapy.
One of the best ways to treat allergies is to avoid all contact with the allergen causing the reaction. Many allergens, once identified, can simply be avoided. For example, if you know you’re allergic to shellfish, don’t eat it or if you’re allergic to pet, it can be managed by keeping the pet outside.
Medications such as pills or nasal sprays are often used to treat allergies. Although, medications can not cure your allergy, they can alleviate the allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itchy mouth, and runny nose. There are many medications available for treating allergy symptoms. These include antihistamines, decongestants and anti-leukotrienes, such as Singulair.
Allergen immunotherapy, or also known as desensitization, hyposensitisation, or allergy shots, is a form of immunotherapy for allergic disorders in which the patient is vaccinated with increasingly larger doses of an allergen. The allergen is given as injections under the skin of your upper arm.
In the initial stages of treatment, injections may be given weekly or twice a week until a maximum dose is tolerated. This is called maintenance dose. It usually take about one year to reach the maintenance dose. When you reach the maintenance dose, the frequency of injections may be decreased to every two week and finally to once a month. Your physician will establish the appropriate schedule of treatment to meet your medical needs.
Allergen immunotherapy is normally only recommended for the treatment of severe allergies (such as pet and hay fever allergy) that have not responded to other treatments, and for specific allergies such as bee and wasp stings allergy.
This type of treatment should only be done under strict supervision of a physician because there is a risk of serious complications when not taking properly.