March 13, 2023

What You Should Know About Immunotherapy to Cure Allergies

Immunotherapy is a form of treatment that works to strengthen the body’s natural defense system, and can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including allergies. While it is not a cure-all, immunotherapy can significantly reduce symptoms of allergies and help you lead a healthier, more comfortable life.

Allergies: What are They?

Allergies are an overreaction of the body’s immune system to a foreign substance, such as pollen, pet dander, mold, dust, and certain foods. When the body encounters these substances, it releases chemicals that trigger the body’s allergic response, causing symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, coughing, itchy eyes, and skin rashes.

Allergy Symptoms

Common allergy symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Swelling of the face or throat
  • Difficulty breathing

Common Allergens:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Animal dander
  • Mold
  • Insect stings
  • Food (e.g. peanuts, shellfish, milk, eggs)
  • Certain medications

How Immunotherapy Works

Immunotherapy works by exposing the body to a small amount of the allergen in order to build up tolerance. The allergen is usually administered in the form of injections, drops, or pills. 

Over time, the body develops a tolerance to the allergen, reducing or eliminating the allergic reaction.

In some cases, the allergen can be administered in a single dose. This is known as "rush immunotherapy" and is usually done for severe allergies.

Immunotherapy is generally considered safe, but it does come with a few risks, such as anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction). Therefore, it is important to discuss the risks and benefits of immunotherapy with your doctor before beginning treatment.

What to Consider Before Starting Immunotherapy

It is important to consider several factors before starting immunotherapy. These include:

  • The severity of your allergy
  • Your age and health
  • The type of allergen you are being treated for
  • Allergy treatment cost
  • The potential risks and side effects
  • The availability of other treatments

It is also important to discuss all of your concerns and questions with your doctor before beginning treatment.

The Immunotherapy Process

The immunotherapy process typically begins with a series of allergy tests to determine the best course of treatment. These tests may include blood tests, imaging scans, and tissue samples. 

The results of these tests will help your doctor determine which type of immunotherapy is best for you.

Once the type of immunotherapy is determined, your doctor will discuss the potential risks, side effects, and benefits of the treatment. You may also be given an immunotherapy plan, which outlines the steps of your treatment process.

Once the immunotherapy plan is in place, your doctor will administer the treatment. This may include injections, infusions, or oral medications. Depending on the type of treatment, you may receive multiple doses of the medication or a single dose.

Once the treatment is completed, your doctor will monitor your progress and adjust the treatment plan as necessary.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

As with any medical treatment, immunotherapy is not without risks and side effects. Some of the potential risks and side effects of immunotherapy include:

  • Inflammation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Infection
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Skin reactions
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Organ damage
  • Immune system suppression
  • Anemia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrhythmias
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Increased risk of cancer

It is important to discuss all of the potential risks and side effects with your doctor before beginning treatment.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy is a type of allergen treatment for allergies. It involves a series of daily under the tongue droplets of small amounts of allergens (the substances that trigger an allergic reaction) that are gradually increased over time. 

This helps to desensitize your body to allergens, reducing the severity of your allergic reaction. Sublingual immunotherapy is typically administered everyday throughout the week for several months or even years until symptoms lessen or totally disappear.

Why Sublingual Immunotherapy is Done

Sublingual immunotherapy is usually recommended for people with allergies that cannot be managed with medications or lifestyle changes. These doses can help reduce symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. They can also help reduce the severity of asthma attacks.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

The most common side effects of sublingual immunotherapy are redness, swelling, and itching. Other side effects may include headache, fatigue, nausea, and localized hives. 

Rarely, anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) can occur. It is important to discuss all of the potential risks and side effects with your doctor before beginning treatment.

Alternative Treatments to Immunotherapy

Although sublingual immunotherapy is highly effective at alleviating allergic reactions and symptoms, there are other treatments that may be considered to find allergy relief.

These treatments include:

  • Avoidance of allergens: This involves identifying and avoiding contact with the allergens that cause the allergy symptoms.
  • Medications: Over-the-counter and prescription medications can be used to reduce allergy symptoms.
  • Nasal rinses: Rinsing the nose with salt water can help reduce the amount of allergens in the nose and reduce symptoms.
  • Allergy shots: These allergy shots contain small doses of the allergen and can help reduce the body’s sensitivity to the allergen.

How Effective is Immunotherapy Compared to Other Treatments

Immunotherapy has been shown to be more effective than other treatments for treating allergies. 

Studies have shown that immunotherapy can reduce symptoms while other treatments such as antihistamines and nasal sprays have a much lower success rate. Immunotherapy also has a longer-lasting effect than other treatments, as it helps to reduce the body's sensitivity to the allergen. This can result in fewer or less severe allergic reactions in the future.

To Sum Up


Immunotherapy is a promising treatment option for people with allergies. It has been shown to be effective in reducing or eliminating allergic symptoms in many individuals. While it may not be a cure-all for everyone, it is worth exploring for anyone looking for an alternative to traditional allergy medications. 

Immunotherapy can be tailored to an individual's specific needs, and it is important to consult an allergist to determine if this treatment is right for you. With further research and development, immunotherapy may become an even more powerful tool in managing allergies in the future.

Do you need allergen immunotherapy? Curex is a top online allergy clinic that offers custom treatments to desensitize the body to allergies. Get started now.

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