Often it becomes nearly impossible to avoid exposure to allergens that trigger your allergic response, such as bee venom or grass pollen. Allergy immunotherapy or desensitisation therapy entails specific allergen exposure with the aim of long-term desensitisation.
The controlled exposure to small quantities of specific allergens over a period allows the immune system that was once hypersensitive to certain substances to get used to the allergen and finally become unresponsive upon contact.
Small doses are given, to begin with, gradually increasing periodically until the patient has reached their maximum dosage.
There are two types of immunotherapies to consider:
Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT): Allergen suspension is administered via injections. You will visit the clinician to receive these injections more frequently at the start of treatment which becomes less frequent as treatment progresses.
Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT): An allergen suspension is delivered through drops or tablets kept under the tongue before swallowing. The initial treatment will be given in the clinic, and, following assessment, these treatments can be continued at home.