If you dread the warmer temps because of hay fever symptoms, you’re not alone.
Hay fever is the fifth most common disease in the United States, costing the economy between $2 billion to $5 billion per year in doctor visits, drugs and other health care expenditures. Of course, this doesn’t even begin to take into account the annoyance factor of dealing with constant sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose.
Common allergy triggers are plant pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. The newest recommended hay fever treatment is sublingual immunotherapy, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in April 2014.
Immunotherapy gradually desensitizes patients to the allergens that trigger their symptoms. It is the only treatment that changes the allergic patient’s response to the allergens.
Immunotherapy used to require visits to a doctor’s office for injections, but sublingual immunotherapy simply has patients take tablets or drops at home. This makes it a convenient treatment option for busy adults who don’t have time to deal with constant doctor visits in between juggling work, family, and social obligations.
New guidelines recommend sublingual immunotherapy for patients who test positive for a specific allergen and don’t respond well to other treatments. It can take up to five years to complete the treatment, but the prospect of being able to enjoy life without pesky allergy symptoms makes the time commitment well worth it for many hay fever sufferers.