A food allergy can range in severity. For instance, you can experience a mild reaction like a rash, or the reaction could be as serious as your throat swelling up. A food allergy can pose a problem when you cook for your family and especially when you go out to eat. Fortunately, at Oak Brook Allergists, our allergists offer treatments like oral immunotherapy to prevent such reactions.
Oral immunotherapy is a preventive allergy treatment. It consists of you consuming small amounts of the food you are allergic to. The amount is so small that you’ll have little to no reaction. The amount of food you consume will increase over time until your body builds up a tolerance for the allergen. By the end of the treatment, you’ll either have a minor reaction or no reaction at all.
Some examples of foods that a practitioner can provide oral immunotherapy for include milk, eggs, and peanuts.
Process of Getting Oral Immunotherapy
The first step to getting oral immunotherapy will begin with your practitioner providing you with food allergy testing if you’re unaware of the food that triggers a reaction. Sometimes, your allergist will suggest allergy testing to determine if you have one single food allergy or if you have a reaction to the family of a food. On the other hand, our practitioner may just speak to you about the type of allergy you have as well as the type of reaction you have when you come in contact with it. Then, your doctor will formulate a treatment plan specifically for you.
How It Differs from Standard Allergy Reaction Treatment
Oral immunotherapy is an allergy reaction treatment that’s not a standard option. Usually, allergists prescribe epinephrine – a substance that will open your airways by relaxing your muscles and tightening your blood vessels – in cases when you have a serious allergic reaction. For less serious reactions, your allergist typically gives you an antihistamine, which is a medication that blocks the effects of histamine. Histamine is the substance your body releases when you come in contact with a food allergen. This is what causes you to have the symptoms that you do. With oral immunotherapy, you work on stopping the reaction from happening in the first place rather than just treating the symptoms when they develop. This is done by desensitizing your body to prevent the release of histamines.
Possible Side Effects
You may have an allergic reaction to an allergen when going through oral immunotherapy. For instance, you may break out in hives or a rash. You may have swelling and wheezing. In some cases, a person may experience anaphylaxis – a life-threatening, systemic reaction. This is why oral immunotherapy is administered in the doctor’s office, so they can immediately combat the allergy symptoms. Your doctor will standby once you receive the treatment to monitor you for a serious reaction. Your physician will intervene if you have a life-threatening reaction.
If you have an allergy that you feel is taking away from your life, you may benefit from oral immunotherapy. You won’t have to worry about experiencing an allergic reaction if you come in contact with an ingredient in a dish anymore. You won’t have to be cautious about what you eat when you go to a friend’s house. You won’t have to worry about cross-contamination at a restaurant or have to read every label on all the foods you purchase. All of these benefits make oral immunotherapy a well-worth treatment for many.
Why Choose Our Allergists in Elmhurst, IL
Oak Brook Allergists has locations in Elmhurst, Downer’s Grove, Naperville, and Plainfield. At any location you choose, you’ll receive an allergy treatment that’s specifically designed with you in mind. We’ll take all the necessary steps to reduce your risk of an allergic reaction and will intervene immediately if you happen to experience a negative reaction.
Book an appointment with Oak Brook Allergists, serving Elmhurst and other cities in the area, to discuss if oral immunotherapy is right for you by calling 630-574-0460. You could also use our online appointment scheduling tool.