Millions who suffer from allergies throughout spring and summer load up on over-the-counter allergy meds or getting shots, but health experts say allergy drops 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 the past year, Falvay has been taking immunotherapy allergy drops. Dr. Chris Thompson is getting great results prescribing them to his patients.
Allergy drops aren't new, but new ways to 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 said.
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.
"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," he said.
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.
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 2 years old 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.