The Evolution of Allergy Treatment

evolution of allergy treatementIn today’s world, getting the most out of life is all about finding new technologies that help us accomplish more, work faster, and move through our days smoothly. Take a minute to think about cell phones over the past 20 years: At first they were essentially a handheld suitcase with a massive antenna… Next we had flip phones, which were still too big to fit in a pocket, but could store phone numbers and text… Then the iPhone turned the world on its head by adding the Internet and email to a cell phone’s features… Today, cell phones are practically pocket computers, and new, life-changing features are added frequently.

The world is a constantly changing place, and new things are always being developed to make your life easier and better. Similar to the evolution of cell phones, there have been many advances in allergy treatment over the past couple decades that have made treating seasonal allergies more effective, safe, and convenient. Being an allergy treatment center, we have seen these changes firsthand.

Twenty years ago, allergy shots were considered one of the most effective ways to treat seasonal allergies. Despite being inconvenient (requiring weekly visits to the doctor that lasted more than 30 minutes) and painful (who wants a shot once a week?), the treatment was effective, and patients who could make it work with their schedules usually experienced successful, long-lasting results.

About fifteen years ago, a big trend toward treating allergies with medication occurred. You may have noticed that the “allergy medication” section of the grocery store has grown from a small section to almost the entire pharmacy aisle. Allergy medications generally offer quick relief, but because they just treat the overt allergy symptoms, they provide only temporary relief and often become less effective over time.

Allergy medications are more of a “Band Aid” for seasonal allergies than a long-term solution. Pharmaceutical companies, however, are really good at marketing (just turn on your TV in the springtime and count the number of Flonase commercials), making them a popular – but less effective – allergy treatment alternative.

Approximately seven years ago, Advanced Allergy & ENT  started offering allergy drops as a new and better treatment for allergy sufferers. Allergy drops have all the benefits of shots (lasting relief from seasonal allergies and proven effectiveness), and they can be administered at home. Allergy medication can also be taken alongside the drops for occasional quick relief from symptoms, but over 94 percent of patients are able to stop taking their allergy medication regularly once the drops take effect (for most people this happened around the three-month mark).

Looking back, the evolution of allergy treatment is an interesting story. We started with allergy shots, which were effective and actually treated the root cause of allergies, but because shots were so onerous to use, most people never saw the benefits. Then came the rise of allergy medication, offering quick relief by treating superficial symptoms but not providing long-term relief. Today, allergy drop treatments combine the convenience of at-home use with the proven effectiveness of immunotherapy, giving our patients a long-term, convenient solution.

If your current allergy treatment feels more like a mid-90s Motorola than the iPhone 6s, maybe it’s time to upgrade and give our office a call.