'If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats.'
~ Lemony Snicket
WHAT IS SUBLINGUAL IMMUNOTHERAPY (SLIT)?
Sublingual immunotherapy treats the cause of allergies by giving small doses of the allergen to the patient. Exposure to these small doses over time increases the immunity or tolerance to the allergens and reduces the allergenic symptoms.
HOW DOES SLIT WORK?
SLIT is given as drops under the tongue. Research shows then when an allergen is presented this way, the immune system learns to tolerate the allergen. The result is less allergy symptoms when the body is exposed to the allergy source such as airborne pollen or pet dander.
HOW DO WE TEST FOR ALLERGIES?
Initially, we perform a skin prick allergy test to determine your specific allergies. Common Ottawa environmental allergies include grass, trees, ragweed, mould, dust, cats & dogs. This is the same test performed by an allergy specialist. Then we order an your individualized medication that contains small doses of the allergy that cause your reactions.
SLIT OR ALLERGY SHOTS?
Like injection therapy, SLIT directly changes the body’s ability to react with allergens. Allergy shots are effective, but need to be given in a physician’s office. This inconvenience results in high drop off rates for many patients. Sublingual immunotherapy offers a great alternative treatment option for people reluctant or unable to undergo allergy shots.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS WITH SLIT?
The vast majority of patients experience marked symptom relief within the first few months of starting treatment. As with all allergy immunotherapy, long term, lasting results require 3 to 5 years of treatment. Research shows that committing to the full therapy can result in permanent symptom relief. No more allergies for Ottawa sufferers!
SLIT IS PROVEN?
With over 60 clinical trials proving efficacy, endorsement from the World Health Organization, the World Allergy Organization and the Cochrane Collaboration, SLIT is proven to be effective, safe and well tolerated.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS OF SLIT?
Rarely, however, the most common side effect
of allergy drops is a mild, local irritation in the mouth and under the tongue. Consult your doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.
WHEN SHOULD I START TREATMENT?
For optimal results, treatment should begin at least 30-60 days before the allergy season. It takes up to 2 weeks for your customized serum to arrive after your allergy skin prick test. Schedule your testing as early as possible to ensure your immune system is prepared for allergy season.
WHAT ABOUT COST?
SLIT is covered by most medical plans. Cost benefit analysis has proven that SLIT can cut down on medication costs and actually save you money.
Sublingual Immunotherapy Allergy Testing: $150 +HST (we will issue you a receipt that can be claimed under naturopathic medicine Ottawa health benefit plans)
Sublingual Immunotherapy Serum: $75 +HST for a 40-60 day supply (all serums have a Drug Identification Number that can be claimed under most health benefit plans)
WHAT'S THE NEXT STEP?
Book an appointment at Sage Wellness located in central Ottawa (613-235-7243, www.sagewellness.ca). If you have questions about whether this treatment is right for you, I welcome you to book a 15 minute complimentary visit where we can discuss how Sublingual Immunotherapy works. Or if you want to get started immediately, book an visit for allergy testing.
I look forward to working with you to be allergy free next season in Ottawa!
Dr. Heather Eggleston, BSc, ND
340 GLADSTONE AVE