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One Shot at Relief: How Allergy Shots Can Protect Royal Oak from Allergens

According to new data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, nearly 1 in 3 U.S. adults and more than 1 in 4 U.S. children reported having a seasonal allergy, eczema, or food allergy every year. 

That accounts for roughly 85 million adults and 20 million children in the US. 

And a good chunk of those people live right here in Royal Oak, Michigan. 

Look, we’ve all been (or will be) affected by allergies or allergens at some point in our lives, but the strong majority of us will see our symptoms improve with over-the-counter medication and at-home therapies. 

Unfortunately, that’s not true for everyone – and sometimes symptoms persist. 

But don’t worry – when OTC medications fail, The Rontal Clinic steps in to save the day. 

Not only can we help identify the triggers causing your symptoms, but we have a variety of treatments available to help minimize those symptoms, prevent allergic reactions, and improve your quality of life.

Scratching the Surface: A Skin Test Can Help Reveal Your Triggers

Before we can treat allergies, we must first determine what you’re allergic to and how severe the reaction is. This can be accomplished with the help of a trained allergist and there are two methods of doing so. 

Skin tests, which are the preferred method, expose the skin to a variety of known allergens to see how the skin reacts in real time. If a reaction occurs, the patient is likely allergic to that specific substance. 

Blood tests, which are used for more rare and specific cases, measure the exact levels of specific IgE antibodies to different allergens by taking a small sample of the patient’s blood and sending it to a lab. 

Skin tests can be administered in a variety of ways, but here are the three most common: 

  1. Skin Prick Test – pricking or scratching the surface of the skin where a small drop of potential allergens are placed. This usually takes place on the forearm or back. 
  2. Intradermal Test – injecting a small amount of potential allergens underneath the skin to see if the skin reacts or not. The allergens are usually injected into the arm. 
  3. Patch Test – using a small patch to expose the skin to a known allergen for 48-72 hours before checking for a reaction. The patch is usually placed on the back. 

The skin test will tell you what’s triggering your symptoms – whether that be a certain drug or medication, insect sting/venom, a specific food, latex, mold, pet dander, ragweed, pollen, dust mites, or anything else.

Shot of Freedom: Say Goodbye to Allergies with Immunotherapy

Alright, so you’ve discovered what you’re allergic to – but what’s next? 

For most people, the next step is over-the-counter and prescription medication – such as antihistamines (Zyrtec, Claritin), nasal sprays (Astepro), decongestants (Bendadryl), and asthma medication (Xolair).

But when those fail, the next step is immunotherapy – also known as an allergy shot. 

Allergy shots contain a small amount of the substance or substances that trigger allergic reactions and symptoms. Treatment is done over the course of 3-5 years and is completed in two different phases. 

  1. During the buildup phase, small doses of the allergen are injected under the skin (usually in the upper arm). The dose is gradually increased over the next 3-6 months, given 1-3 times per week.
  2. During the maintenance phase, the frequency of injections is reduced to once every 2-4 weeks. This phase will last several years, but it all depends on how quickly your immune system adapts.

The purpose of an allergy shot is to gradually expose the allergen to the immune system – giving it time to learn and become accustomed to the allergen. Eventually, the reactions will grow less and less violent. 

While allergy shots are one of the most common and effective treatments for seasonal allergies, indoor allergens, and insect bites/stings, they’re not effective against food allergies or chronic cases of hives.

Drop It Like It’s Hot: Allergy Drops & Tablets for the Win!

Allergy shots, also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), are the most effective treatment for allergic reactions, but they’re not perfect – and not everyone will see an improvement in symptoms. 

But don’t worry – because it’s not your only chance at freedom. 

With that, we’d like to introduce you to sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). 

SLIT works in much the same way – by exposing the body to small amounts of the substance to which you are allergic – but there are no shots or needles. Instead, the allergens are placed under the tongue.

There are two common types of SLIT treatments available today: 

  1. Allergy Tablets – dissolvable tablets placed under the tongue, and dissolve in seconds. They’re currently FDA-approved for specific allergens like grass pollen, ragweed pollen, and dust mites.
  2. Allergy Drops – liquid formulations placed under the tongue, usually using a dropper. Your physician will formulate a mixture that can include a wide range of potential allergens. 

If you’re not a fan of needles or aren’t seeing the results you were hoping for from an allergy shot, then you might find greater success with allergy drops – so long as you take it as directed by your doctor. 

The Rontal Clinic: Allergy Management Made Easy!

Are you experiencing allergy symptoms that won’t seem to go away? Are over-the-counter or prescription medications not working – or not working well enough? Have you tried allergy shots, but to no avail? 

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, then you’ve come to the right place. 

Welcome to The Rontal Clinic – where Royal Oak residents go for an allergy-free life. 

We understand how frustrating allergies can be, especially when they overstay their welcome or keep coming back for me. Trust us, we’ve all been there before – and we wouldn’t wish it upon anyone!

That’s why we’re excited to help the Royal Oak community overcome these symptoms – that way, you can get back to your normal, happy, healthy, and quality life. Feel free to contact us today to learn more!