Alternative way to treating allergy shots without needle

FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Have you heard, you may not have to head to the doctor’s office anymore to get your allergy shots. Doctors now say there’s another alternative for both kids and adults.

If you feel like your allergies are hitting hard, brace yourself. This season is not looking too good.

“We had a milder winter and we had a fairly wet winter. So that means that the trees got a lot of nutrients and so I anticipate it’s going to be a little worse this year,” said Dr. Haidy Marzouk, Otolaryngologist at St. Joseph’s Health.

Dr. Marzouk says this time of year is when grass allergies are at their highest.

“Right now we are hot in the midst of grass season,” said Dr. Marzouk.

With the weather we’ve had lately in Central New York, on top of the pollen flying everywhere, it’s only making seasonal allergies worse.

“It can be very humidity dependent. These days we’re in the moderate to very high range,” said Dr. Marzouk.

Many people with allergies will also feel a lot worse on a hot day, where the humidity is high.

Butt another alternative to allergy shots could get you feeling much better.

“We’ve had new outcomes from the FDA with tablets that you can actually put under your tongue to help desensitize you to your allergies,” said Dr. Marzouk.

The sublingual immunotherapy tablets can be used by kids and adults who are allergic to grasses, weeds and dust. It’s approved for grass and weeds down to age 5, and down to age 12 for dust.

“You can get your first dose slipped under your tongue just under the observation of your doctor to make sure that you tolerate it ok and then you can actually go home and put a tablet under your tongue every day and it has similar efficacy to allergy shots,” said Dr. Marzouk.

Dr. Marzouk says this is a great option for both adults and kids because it does not require a needle or interrupt your daily schedule.

“You don’t have to take a half hour to 45 minutes out of your day minimum to go to the doctor, get a shot and observed for 30 minutes. You can do it in the comfort of your home and the efficacy is fairly similar,” said Dr. Marzouk.

For grass and weeds, the sublingual tablet can be taken right before your allergy season starts. It can be taken from anywhere between 8 weeks to 4 months in advance, and during your season. It does not have to be taken all year round.

“What I usually tell my patients is that allergy immunotherapy, whether it be through tablets or through shots, its a big commitment, and there’s a little bit of risk,” said Dr. Marzouk. “The safety profile of sublingual immunotherapy is better and safer compared to allergy shots, but its still a commitment and it still can have side effects. So you have to make sure its worth it. Its worth the commitment, and worth the risk of side effects.”

“So if you’re getting by with just a little Claritin and you’re controlled, it might not be for you,” said Dr. Marzouk. “But if you’ve tried different types of medication, both certain nasal sprays and pills and either you don’t tolerate those medications or your control is not complete and you’re looking for kind of long-lasting long term improvement because this is desensitizing you then immunotherapy, whether it be through shots or sublingual tablets is a nice option.”

Dr. Marzouk recommends talking with your primary care physician first to figure out what option is best for you.

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