SAN ANTONIO, Texas. (KFSN) --Millions of Americans suffer throughout spring and summer when allergies are in full bloom, and for many people, that means loading up on over-the-counter allergy drugs. But, new ways to make an established therapy may spell long-lasting relief.
This used to be the season of agony ... not ecstasy for Tina Falvey. She couldn't even enjoy a simple, easy breath.
But for this past year, Tina has been taking immunotherapy allergy drops. Doctor Chris Thompson, MD, allergist and otolaryngist at Texan Allergy, is getting great results prescribing them to his patients.
He says, "If you really want curative allergy therapy, you've got to do immunotherapy."
Allergy drops aren't new, but new ways to compound ... or make them ... are boosting their popularity. The drops now come in more pure and predictable doses.
"Most of the studies show that it works about 85 to 90 percent of patients who are compliant with therapy, meaning they take it regularly," Thompson told Ivanhoe.
Allergy drops work by putting small doses of the allergen into the body ... and that builds up the body's immunity to the allergen. Doses are increased to a maintenance level, and taken for about three years. Once that's done, the patient is cured.
Thompson said, "It's a much more natural way of defending yourself against allergies, there is no processing by the liver, it simply goes into the immune system."
The drops are a real game changer for kids ... five year old Carlos had serious allergies, and was taking over-the-counter drugs daily, sometimes even antibiotics.
Carlos' mom, Kristina Collmar, told Ivanhoe, "We were also doing breathing treatments on the nebulizer."
After a year of allergy drops, Carlos is now tearing it up on the t-ball field.
It's safe to give allergy drops to everyone from two to 90, as long as they're otherwise healthy. But the therapy needs to be consistent for three to five years before patients are considered cured from their allergies.