One doctor’s experience, and patient response, integrating allergy drops into her practice
We speak with so many clinics that use the La Crosse Method™ Protocol on a daily basis and hear stories of triumph in their allergic patients; Dr. Sezelle Gereau being one of the providers we hear from often.
Dr. Gereau, an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor in New York, has been offering sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), or allergy drops, in her practice for several years. She is trained in traditional and allopathic ENT, integrative and functional medicine, and fellowship trained in pediatric ENT. Her enthusiasm for changing the course of the allergic disease and helping her patients find relief with allergy drops has been inspiring. We were able to discuss how she integrated allergy drops into her practice and the benefits it has provided her patients.
Offering SLIT at her practice
The primary reason Dr. Gereau integrated allergy drops in her clinic was to offer an allergy solution for her patients. “I work at an integrative medicine practice where I have patients who want to get at the root cause of their illness and generally don’t want to use antibiotics and/or steroids if at all possible.” Dr. Gereau says that she doesn’t use allergy shots, so allergy drops were a treatment she could offer that was not just a medication to tame allergy symptoms.
“I became interested in allergy drops partially because of the need of my patients, and partially at the suggestion of a colleague who was using them successfully in their practice. Soon thereafter, I was asked to give lectures to other physicians on sublingual immunotherapy as part of an allergy course at Weil Cornell Medical Center,” Dr. Gereau states.
“I learned more and more about the drops and how a lot of ENT allergists are using them successfully in their practice. As Otolaryngologists, we are treating a specific condition, and the drops make good sense, as they help us better control patient symptoms of sinusitis. This can result in fewer surgeries, more successful outcomes, and perhaps avoid the operating room at all.” Dr. Gereau believes SLIT as a first line of treatment can help to eliminate further illness and progression of disease. “If you’re working on overall immune issues, it only makes sense that the less reactive a patient is, the better that they will become over time.”
Benefit of SLIT for her patients
Allergy drops have proven to be very effective and extremely safe for adults and children, and they have been generally well received throughout her clinic. Not all allergy treatments are safe for children, so the La Crosse Method™ has been very beneficial in that regard in her office.
“Many parents assume that their children are just little ‘snotty nose kids’ like most children, but when you draw their attention to the fact that not every kid walks around in that state, it becomes clear to the parents that it’s something that needs to be addressed,” she explains. “Often patients come to me after having had ENT procedures such as adenoidectomy or tubes in the ears. When we finally address the allergies, children are able to get better.” Being able to determine the root cause of the child’s illness and treat it safely is something that sets her practice apart from others.
Surprising elements of SLIT
While Dr. Gereau expected allergy drops to be effective, she was surprised about just how effective they have been for her patients. “I guess I’ve been surprised at the ease with which patients get better. So often they’ll come back six months later, nine months later, a year later and say ‘this is the first season I haven’t had symptoms’ or ‘I haven’t had any sinus infections this year’ or ‘I had surgery and this has really been a great adjunct treatment for me and I feel so much better.’ How wonderful to have a treatment option for my patients that is safe, effective, and can eliminate the disease entirely!”
She says that seeing patients get better is the best part of being a doctor. Particularly, with allergy drops, “you often are solving something for a patient that wasn’t taken care of years ago. So many times patients were recommended to have shots, but knew that they wouldn’t be able to comply with multiple visits to the doctor and the risk of major complications. So you are giving them the opportunity to actually tackle their disease in the comfort of their own homes,” she says. Seeing the progress in patients has been both surprising and rewarding for Dr. Gereau.
Advice for prospective patients and providers
After providing allergy drops for her patients for some time, Dr. Gereau has some sage advice for both providers and patients considering allergy drop treatment:
- “Immunotherapy is the one true way for a patient to change the course of the disease. Other treatments that we have for allergy just treat symptoms, but SLIT actually gets at the crux and cause of the illness and helps to not only reverse that, but it helps to prevent progression on to other complications of allergy, such as asthma.
- Traditionally, we’ve thought about allergy treatment as something that’s used after a patient has failed trials of inhaled nasal steroids, antihistamines and leukotriene inhibitors. But, we should be thinking of inhalant and food allergy treatment as our first line of treatment.
- The La Crosse Method is so affordable, safe and well tolerated, even in young children. There has never been a life-threatening reaction reported in the entire life of the protocol (nearly 50 years).
- Patients should consider coming in earlier in the year to start their treatment. Often you see allergy patients present in allergy season and while you can start drops then, it would be so much better if they came in a few months before the season for an evaluation. Don’t wait until you have symptoms; let’s keep them from occurring in the first place.”
Thank you to Dr. Gereau for her insight on implementing allergy drops into her clinic and her advice for those hoping to start treatment.
- If you are a provider hoping to integrate the La Crosse Method Protocol, complete this form or call 866-793-1680, ext. 510.
- If you are suffering from allergy and hoping to find a provider trained in the La Crosse Method Protocol in your area, contact us.
- Or to learn more about the conditions best treated, read on.
By Taylor Pasell, Allergychoices