The first signs of Spring may be just around the corner – maybe. Seems hard to believe when we look outside at snow on our lawn, and snow-covered mountains, but it is true.
Sunshine. Flowers. Birds. Grass. Sneezing. Coughing. Watery eyes. Itchy throat. Runny nose. These are going to be here before we know it!
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, read below on potential causes, testing, and a specific treatment that is available to you. This treatment is one of the only solutions that can get to the root cause of your symptoms.
Environmental allergies occur when your body overreacts to an invasion of allergens, the most common of which are grass, tree and weed pollens, ragweed, dust mite, cats, dogs and mold. When an allergen enters the body, it triggers an immune reaction, symptoms of which include watery/itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and a scratchy throat. Your energy levels may also be depleted, and these symptoms can no doubt affect your sleep.
If you are suffering from the classic symptoms of an allergic reaction, but are not quite sure what the triggers are, you may want to consider being tested.
Diagnostic scratch testing is a simple 15-minute test that can accurately pinpoint the type and severity of different kinds of environmental allergies in just one visit.
During this test, patients are exposed to each of the allergens via drops of fluid on the skin. With a needle, the physician lightly scratches the patient’s skin under each drop so that the skin absorbs the fluid. While the test is relatively painless, be prepared for any tickling and itching caused by the reaction. At the end of the test, each scratch will be checked for any redness or swelling, and this reaction can be measured. A positive test will usually look like a mosquito bite – the size of which can vary greatly, depending on how allergic to that allergen you may be.
Treatment & Prevention
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a safe and effective allergy treatment during which the patient receives low doses of the allergen under the tongue. The idea is that repeated exposure will increase tolerance and reduce allergy symptoms by re-training your body so that it doesn’t become allergic to begin with. Unlike allergy shots, SLIT can be self-administered at home.
SLIT is Health Canada and FDA approved, and is recognized by the World Health Organization as an effective treatment for allergies. It has been studied in over 60 clinical trials over the past 20+ years proving efficacy, safely, and tolerance to the treatment. It is now the most widely prescribed form of allergy immunotherapy in Europe. Patients that undergo SLIT treatment report a better quality of life and fewer sick days from work and school. An improved sleep and a drastic reduction or elimination of allergy symptoms are also noted. Many patients are dependent on antihistamines to function, and are relieved to not need them any more. Research shows that committing to the full therapy can result in permanent symptom relief….no more suffering from allergies!!
The drops are written as a prescription, and are covered by most extended medical plans.
If you suffer from environmental allergies on a mild scale, or if these are debilitating you and affecting your day-to-day function, diagnosis and treatment using allergy drops may be the perfect solution for you.
For more information or to book an appointment, please contact Garibaldi Health Clinic:
www.garibaldihealthclinic.com or 604.898.1999