Allergy Immunotherapy Specialist

ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA

Otolaryngologists & Allergy Specialists located in McKees Rocks, Seven Fields, Sewickley, & Vanport Township, PA

Allergies to pollen, dust, and pet dander can leave you with watering eyes and a stuffy nose that make daily activities a real grind. ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA offers immunotherapy for people who can't get relief from allergy symptoms using other means. This safe and effective immunotherapy treatment includes allergy shots or sublingual (under the tongue) drops. Find out how immunotherapy could reduce or permanently relieve your allergy symptoms by calling the practice's office in Sewickley, Beaver/Vanport Township, Seven Fields, or Ohio Valley in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, today or book online.

Allergy Immunotherapy Q & A

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a potential long-term solution for people affected by certain allergies.  

Allergies are an immune system overreaction to substances (allergens) you encounter in your environment. Very often, these are things that don't pose any threat to you or would cause only minor discomfort, like an insect sting.

Anything could provoke an allergic reaction if your immune system identifies it as a threat, but some allergens are more common, for example, animal dander, dust, pollen, and molds.

Immunotherapy involves taking tiny doses of the allergen responsible for your symptoms regularly over an extended period. As time goes on, the allergen dosage gradually increases, and your body gets used to it, no longer reacting so violently.

What symptoms do allergies cause?

The respiratory allergies ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA specializes in treating can cause symptoms such as:

  • Watering eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Blocked nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Red, swollen eyes
  • Runny nose

These symptoms occur whenever you make contact with the allergens that trigger an allergic reaction in you — like pollen, which causes hayfever (allergic rhinitis), can make you miserable for months at a time and significantly impact your quality of life.

Antihistamines and other medications are an effective way of relieving respiratory allergy symptoms for many people, but they don't work in all cases. If your allergy causes disruptive symptoms that other treatments can't control adequately, immunotherapy could be the answer.

What allergies can immunotherapy treat?

The team at ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA uses immunotherapy to treat allergies involving:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Molds
  • Insect venom

Immunotherapy isn't effective for allergies to food or medication.

Before considering immunotherapy, you need to have allergy tests to make sure you receive the right treatment. ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA offers in-house skin, intradermal, and RAST (radioallergosorbent) testing to identify both common and more unusual allergens.

What does immunotherapy involve?

There are two options available when you start immunotherapy:

Allergy shots

Allergy shots are injections of the relevant allergen into your arm that typically take place weekly. The quantity of allergen in your shots increases until you get to the maintenance dose level, then gradually, you receive your immunotherapy treatments less frequently.

Allergy drops

Allergy drops (sublingual immunotherapy) have the same effect as shots, but instead of needing an injection, you place the drops under your tongue and keep them there for a couple of minutes before you swallow. You normally need to take your allergy drops every day.

Immunotherapy is effective but isn't a quick fix as your treatment could last for one or two years; however, freedom from allergies makes the wait worthwhile.

To find out more about immunotherapy, call ENT and Allergy Specialists of Western PA today or book an appointment online.