Your Trusted Source of Immunotherapy Treatments in Sydney
Sufferers of allergies often despair of being able to truly cure their conditions. The main strategy employed in the treatment of allergic conditions is prevention and avoidance, attempting to minimise contact with a sufferer’s specific allergens and to have a backup plan in place, such as fast-acting antihistamine medicine, for when exposure does accidentally occur.
collective.care recognises this approach has advantages; it is minimally expensive and invasive, it allows the patient to take responsibility for their own care, and in many cases quality of life remains high with little sacrifice on the part of the patient. But sometimes it is better to address the cause of allergic conditions rather than the symptoms, and for these patients, we offer immunotherapy for the treatment of allergies.
Immunotherapy Teaches Your Body To Overcome The Allergy At Its Own Pace
Immunotherapy is a powerful long-term strategy as it offers allergy sufferers a desensitisation to the cause of the allergy, which is considered the closest thing to a “cure” for allergy. Working in a similar way to a course of vaccines, the patient is gradually dosed with very tiny amounts of the allergenic substance; while at first, this may bring on a tiny allergic reaction, over time the body can learn to accept it. The concentration of the allergen is then slowly increased over time until the body can tolerate as high a concentration as might normally be expected. Over the time, the body develops immunity and the allergens can be tolerated with few or no symptoms.
collective.care doctors are most likely to recommend immunotherapy for allergy sufferers who:
• Have very severe reactions to their allergens
• Have allergens which are almost impossible to avoid
• Are averse to standard medications due to cost or side effects
• For whom standard medications provide little relief
Any or all of these factors may single out a patient for an immunotherapy treatment from our doctors.
How Is Immunotherapy Administered?
Immunotherapy can be administered sublingually (under the tongue) or via subcutaneous injection.
Sublingual immunotherapy is a daily treatment which can be self-administered at home. It involves putting a liquid or tablet form of the allergen extract under the tongue and keeping it there for 2 minutes before swallowing. This is done every morning, prior to eating, drinking or brushing your teeth.
Upon beginning treatment, some patients experience side-effects such as irritation, itchiness or minor swelling inside the mouth, and stomach upset. These side-effects can be easily controlled with anti-histamine medications, and should resolve after the first few weeks of treatment.
Advantages of the sublingual approach to immunotherapy include no injections, fewer doctor visits, home dosing after the first treatment and very low incidence of serious reactions.
Subcutaneous immunotherapy involves having a series of injections. To begin with, the injections are performed weekly and the dose of allergen extract is increased gradually with each injection. Upon reaching the maintenance dose, injections are performed less frequently, on a monthly basis.
How Quickly Do Symptoms Improve with Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is not a quick fix treatment for allergy, and symptom relief does not occur immediately. Usually, it will take between 6-9 months for patients to notice an improvement in their symptoms.
To achieve the most effective relief from allergy symptoms and reduce the likelihood symptoms returning, it is recommended immunotherapy is continued for a period of 3-5 years without interruption. This is the same for both sublingual and subcutaneous approaches.
Sydney’s community avenue for cutting edge allergy treatment
collective.care offers Sydney families the chance to centre a comprehensive range of specialist medical providers in a single clinic. Our healthcare professionals coordinate on each patient’s case to ensure they are receiving considered, coordinated medical support. Book an appointment for yourself online or call us on 1300 344 325.