Inhalant Allergy Treatment
Sublingual immunotherapy for environmental or inhalant allergies is the most-commonly prescribed form of allergy drops used in the United States. With the La Crosse Method™ Protocol, allergy antigens used in the treatment bottle include only what the patient is determined to be allergic to, no extras! These antigens are the same FDA-approved extracts that are used in allergy shots; the route of administration (and mechanism) is the primary difference.
Multi-allergen inhalant threshold dosing can be provided for patients with multiple moderate to severe allergies to pollens, mites, animals, and molds or with a history of anaphylaxis. The treatment level is tailored to the patient’s skin or blood test results. Patients take a dose three times daily using a metered dispenser that delivers a precise amount of antigen. One bottle lasts 90 days. Treatment usually takes three to five years, until the patient enjoys symptom relief and a reduced skin or in vitro testing response.
The benefits of treatment can include the reduced need for ongoing allergy medications, improved quality of life and in some cases, stopping the progression of the “atopic march,” which can lead to asthma and other allergy-related conditions in young children.
Mechanism of Sublingual Immunotherapy
Sublingual immunotherapy is the regular administration of gradually increasing doses of allergens in the area under the tongue in order to induce tolerance to allergens responsible for symptoms. The area under the tongue, the sublingual mucosa, is a “privileged” area with special properties including the highest concentration of dendritic cells in the body. This is important to note because the dendritic cell is the most powerful antigen/allergen presenting cell, that is, it presents allergens to T cells in order to induce either tolerance or a state of allergy. Manipulation of this cell is critical in the practice of immunotherapy as well as any other attempt to induce tolerance.