After a long cold winter many of us here in Victoria are wondering “is this it? Is this spring?”
Tree allergy sufferers however are painfully aware that spring has indeed sprung. In fact, even signs of summer are “in the air” as grasses begin to proliferate all around us. Not too far off fall will bring the weeds. Such a beautiful season but potentially so painful for allergy sufferers. Finally the classic “allergy season” will come to an end in late fall. People who react to dust, mold, and animal dander, however, know inhalant allergies can continue all year long.
The typical symptoms of itchy eyes and mouth, runny nose, cough and sore throat are sadly familiar to a growing number of us. Allergic disease has nearly doubled throughout the world in the last 20 years.
The conventional treatments to control inhalant allergies consist of various anti-histamines – oral, nasal and eye drop form. These often effectively decrease the symptoms of inhalant allergies, but do not treat the underlying cause, and require ongoing use.
We have a long and successful history, in naturopathic medicine, of treating inhalant allergies by improving immune function, nutrition, digestion, the microbiome and the stress response.
In the last decade, our success in treating inhalant allergies has grown tremendously. With the adoption of SLIT into our tool belt, we can treat the root cause of inhalant allergic disease (as we always have), but now treat in a targeted, allergen specific approach.
SLIT is prescribed based on the results of scratch testing to identify an individual’s specific allergies. The single offending allergen or combination of allergens are compounded in a lab and prescribed in a gradually increasing dosage schedule to be taken under the tongue daily.
Over time SLIT trains the immune system to stop seeing benign allergens as a threat. Through this “immune exercise” SLIT treats the root immune dysfunction of allergy and repairs it.
Improvements are usually seen in a month or two, but full resolution of symptoms can be seen between 6 months to 2 years. Studies show if used for 3-5 years the effects persist long term after discontinuation. Long term use also has been shown to inhibit the development of asthma or new allergies.
SLIT has been used for more than 15 years around the world, and many studies validate both the safety and effectiveness. In some cases users may notice a flare of their typical allergy symptoms with use of SLIT but this is managed by decreasing the dose, and will usually disappear as treatment continues.
The cost of SLIT has decreased over the past few years. A regular strength bottle is $75 and will last approximately two months. As this is a prescription medication, it is covered by most drug plans. Scratch testing can be performed here at Acacia for a fee of $75. Alternatively, scratch testing is covered under MSP if done by an allergist.
SLIT is a safe and effective treatment to reduce or completely resolve inhalant allergies as well as the associated, underlying immune dysfunction.
If you have inhalant allergies, or suspect you do, call Acacia Health to book in with your ND to find out more and get started with scratch testing and SLIT.
Don’t waste another season suffering!