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Immunotherapy

Felipe J. Martinez, M.D. -  - ENT Specialist

Felipe J. Martinez, M.D.

ENT Specialists & Allergy Specialists located in Coral Gables, West Miami, FL & Doral, FL

Allergies that persistently cause cold-like symptoms can severely impact your work and home life, and make every day a struggle. If you have a respiratory allergy that doesn’t respond to initial treatment approaches, Felipe J. Martinez, MD, is an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) practice that specializes in using immunotherapy to desensitize your body to allergens. To schedule an appointment, call the Coral Gables, West Miami, or Doral, Florida, office today or book an appointment online.

Immunotherapy Q & A

What is immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy is a treatment for people who have allergies that are interfering with their ability to lead a normal life. Allergies develop when your body overreacts to a substance in the environment that’s ordinarily harmless, like animal dander, or would only cause minimal harm, like an insect bite.

Respiratory allergies can cause symptoms that include:

  • Blocked nose
  • Streaming eyes
  • Red or swollen eyes
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose

Although these symptoms can be extremely disruptive, treatments like antihistamines and other medications can significantly reduce the symptoms of respiratory allergies for many people. Unfortunately, they don’t work for everyone.

If you have an allergy that causes you significant symptoms but isn’t responding to other treatments, immunotherapy at Felipe J. Martinez MD could be the answer. Immunotherapy involves exposing yourself to a regular, small dose of the allergen that causes your symptoms. You increase the dosage gradually, giving your body time to build up an immunity.

What allergies respond to immunotherapy?

The allergies that respond best to immunotherapy are:

  • Pollen
  • Molds
  • Dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Insect venom

Immunotherapy doesn’t work for allergies to food or medication.

How is immunotherapy delivered?

You can take your immunotherapy doses in one of two ways:

Allergy shots

Allergy shots are injections Felipe J. Martinez MD gives you in your arm. The quantity of allergen in the shot increases until you reach what’s called the maintenance dose. Then you gradually reduce the frequency of your treatments. Typically, patients receive an allergy shot once every week.

Side effects from immunotherapy are very unusual, but if you have allergy shots, you might experience some redness, tenderness, and swelling at the site of the injection. The chances of experiencing a reaction are lower if you follow a consistent program of immunotherapy.

Sublingual immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy uses the same technique as allergy shots, but instead of injections, you use oral drops. You put the drops under your tongue - which is what sublingual means - and hold them for a few minutes before swallowing. Drops typically need to be taken daily.

It does take time for your body to develop a tolerance to the substance you’re allergic to, and you should expect your immunotherapy treatment to last for between one and two years.

Find out more about immunotherapy by calling Felipe J. Martinez MD today, or book an appointment online.