Sublingual Immunotherapy Treatment For Allergies
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is treatment which involves placing the allergy drops under the tongue. The drops contain a small amount of allergy causing substance(allergen). Over time, the dosage of allergen is increased and and the individual becomes sensitized to the allergen. This can help in overcoming allergies.
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is similar to allergy shots; the difference being, in allergy shots – injections are used and in SLIT – allergy drops are used.
How Does Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) Work?
An allergy is caused when the immune system mistakenly identifies a substance as harmful and attacks it. It releases the antibodies against it and histamine is released in the body. This results in allergy symptoms such as rashes, hives, breathlessness etc.
Sublingual immunotherapy involves desensitizing the body to the allergen by exposing minute amount of allergen to the body. Gradually, the body gets desensitized and you would not have an allergic reaction when you come in contact with the allergen.
Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) : The advantages over Allergy Shots:
Allergy shots too follow the same treatment – where the dosage of allergen is increased gradually to to desensitize the immune system. In allergy shots or immunotherapy, injection is used instead of drops.
When compared to allergy shots, SLIT is a pain-free solution. This is suitable for children, sensitive patients and those who do not prefer injections. SLIT can also be economical as it would involve lesser trips to the doctor as the drops can be taken at thome.
Sublingual immunotherapy can be used to treat pollen,food, mold, and dander allergies. Currently allergy shots and SLIT are the only permanent allergy-treaments available.
SLIT is used widely in Europe. However, sublingual immunotherapy is not approved by the FDA in the United States. Further research is going on in the United States regarding the approval of sublingual immunotherapy for treating allergies.