Airborne or Inhalant Allergy
Part of the immune system's role is to protect the body from infections from various microorganisms, but sometimes it overreacts to what is typically a harmless substance. This overreaction is known as an allergic reaction. Common airborne or inhalant allergens include pollen, dust, dust mite, mold, animal dander. The classic example of inhalant allergy is hayfever when people develop symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, itchy eyes and asthma because of allergy to pollen.
Allergy symptoms are all mediated by the release of histamine, hence, the use of antihistamines to treat allergy. You should be aware, however, that there is more to an allergic reaction the release of histamine. Allergic reactions also involve the release of numerous inflammatory mediators. In essence, allergic reactions are basically inflammatory in nature and all organ systems are susceptible inflammation. Inflammation in the nose causes congestion; inflammation in the lungs-asthma; inflammation in the gut-"irritable bowel syndrome"; inflammation in the joints-joint pain/arthritis.
Inhalant Allergy Testing
The methods used at this clinic for testing allergic responses to inhalants such as dust, molds, pollens and dander is called Serial Dilution Endpoint Titration (SDET) and probably different from allergy testing you have had in the past. SDET is an accurate and quantitative method of skin testing used to precisely diagnose environmental allergies. Scratch and prick tests are not quantitative. SDET testing and interpretation techniques are well standardized, while this is not the case with other forms of skin testing. SDET testing allows a safe and effective starting dose to begin desensitization, which can be determined quickly and individually for each allergen tested. This is not possible with single dilution tests such as scratch, prick and the usual intradermal tests.
Treating Inhalant Allergies
The most effective treatment for allergies is avoidance of what causes them. This may include dust control, "detoxifying" your home environment from chemicals and eliminating specific foods from your diet. This will be covered in more detail and other parts of this web site. (See dust mite control).
Both the SDET and Provocative Neutralization testing procedures allow us to determine the optimum dose to begin desensitizing one to the substances to which they are allergic. You can elect to desensitization using weekly injections administered at our clinic. Or you can choose sublingual desensitization. The appropriate antigens are placed into a vial so they can be administered sublingually.
Sublingual extracts are administered daily. Most people get relief of their symptoms within three to four weeks of starting them and sometimes sooner. Some patients take longer to get relief because of the severity other symptoms. Occasionally a person takes up to three or four months to notice a lessening of their symptoms. Most patients need to take one drop daily of each of their extracts. However, it is not uncommon for patients to have to increase the dose up to two drops three times daily, if they don't start to get relief within a month. The amount of antigen drops may need to be increased as the pollen count rises in the spring and summer months. Do not increase the dose of the antigens without talking to Dr. Buscher or a member of the allergy testing staff first.
After you have been on the desensitization vaccines for six to eight weeks, you should make an appointment to se Dr. Buscher for follow-up. If your symptoms have not lessened by that time, then by all means, be sure to make an appointment to see Dr. Buscher, as there may be other problems complicating your situation.