Allergy symptoms can be successfully relieved through a combination of allergen avoidance and allergy treatment options, including allergy medications and immunotherapy.
The primary strategy of treating allergies is the careful identification of what a person is allergic to and staying away from those things. If that is not possible, medications are used to treat the symptoms of allergy. Additionally, immunotherapy is used to control symptoms of moderate to severe allergies, if avoidance and medications are not working.
At National Jewish Health, some of the nation's best doctors work with patients in a targeted specific manner to help alleviate and manage allergy symptoms. Learn more about Allergy Programs.
Many medications are available to treat the various allergy symptoms. Allergy medications include antihistamines, leukotriene modifiers, topical and systemic steroids and anti-IgE medications. Learn more about medications to treat allergies.
Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)
Currently, allergy immunotherapy is the only proven cure for some allergens. Unfortunately, it does not work for everyone. Over time, small amounts of what a person is allergic to are introduced, and this helps reduce allergy symptoms in some people who are unable to avoid allergens and who do not respond well to other medications. Allergy shots may also reduce future sensitization. Learn more about allergy shots.
Sublingual Allergy Immunotherapy
Sublingual immunotherapy is an alternative treatment method to treat allergies without injections. Small doses of allergens are introduced under the tongue to reduce allergic symptoms. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only three sublingual products. Two are directed at different kinds of grass pollen, and one is for short ragweed. The two grass pollen allergy tablets are: Oralair® (Stallergenes), which has five kinds of northern grass pollen, and Grastek® (Merck), which has Timothy Grass pollen. The short ragweed allergy tablet is called Ragwitek® (Merck).