Allergen Immunotherapy (or desensitisation)
Immunotherapy (sometimes also called desensitisation) offers a practical cure of allergies for many people, and can significantly reduce the symptoms and the need for medication in the majority of suitable patients.
Immunotherapy is known by several names - including desensitization, allergy drops, allergy shots/injections, allergy vaccinations.
Immunotherapy works by gradually increasing your body's tolerance to a specific allergic trigger (or allergen).
The specific allergens that are used in a course of immunotherapy need to be carefully chosen - both to maximise effect - but also for safety, and the risk of causing new allergies.
Immunotherapy courses last for a minimum of several months, and are usually recommended to be performed for three consecutive years. This leads to a lasting long-term benefit - that persists even after the course in complete.
Allergy immunotherapy is available for the most common airborne allergy triggers (eg. pollen, dust/dustmite, cat and dog); and also Insect venoms for people who have had severe allergic reactions to insect stings (eg. Honey Bee, Wasp, Jack-Jumper Ant) .
There are different formulations of immunotherapy available. The two most commonly used are:
- Sublingual (daily drops or tablets under the tongue at home)
- Subcutaneous (weekly and then monthly injections at a medical centre) "Allergy Shots"
The best formulation is decided by the patient and allergist, taking into account the clinical situation and patient preference.
Our specialist allergists are clear about the effectiveness of this treatment, and are keen to offer it to suitable patients.