Allergy Drops

Safe, Convenient, and Effective At-Home Allergy Treatment

Anyone who struggles with allergies knows how difficult it can be to function during peak allergy seasons. Whether your problem is seasonal or perennial allergies, Dr. Ryan Sullivan and the team at Skin & Allergy Center can get you started with an effective, at-home treatment designed to help control your own unique allergy symptoms with allergy drops.

What are allergy drops?

Allergy drops, or sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), is a non-invasive allergy treatment administered via liquid drops placed beneath the tongue. The drops work by mixing the specific allergens you are allergic to and using them to build immunity or tolerance to your allergic triggers. The drops help to achieve similar benefits to those of allergy shots.

Benefits of allergy drops:

  • Treatments are performed at home; miss less time from work and school.
  • Painless and injection-free
  • Safe and effective for children and adults
  • Great for seasonal and perennial (all year long) allergies
  • Reduces the need for other allergy medications
  • Affordable

Who should consider allergy drops?

Before recommending any form of allergy treatment, our Tennessee allergy team will meet with you or your child for a personalized consultation. Allergy testing is often necessary to determine the specific cause of your allergic reactions, as well as which allergy treatment is best for your unique case.

Allergy drops are a safe and convenient treatment that can be performed from the comfort of your own home—with only 1-2 office visits per year, you will no longer need to take time off work or school on a regular basis. This form of allergy treatment is completely safe for anyone from children as young as 4 years old to seniors. Dr. Sullivan also recommends allergy drops as a great option for his allergy patients with a fear of needles, or who have not been able to tolerate allergy shots.

We also recommend allergy drops to our patients who struggle with seasonal allergies, such as pollen. Typically, when dealing with seasonal allergies we will begin allergy drop treatments several weeks before the symptoms normally start.

Are there any side effects to using allergy drops?

Possible side effects to allergy drops include a mild itching or burning of the lip or mouth. This will typically fade quickly and should not cause any alarm. Less common side effects may include a runny nose or upset stomach. More severe allergic reactions are extremely rare and can be avoided by consulting with a professional allergy specialist, such as Skin & Allergy Center’s own Dr. Ryan Sullivan and Dr. Susan Higgins, before starting treatment. Our allergy specialists are highly trained and able to personalize each patient’s individual allergy treatments to meet his or her unique needs and conditions.

Getting started with allergy drops

Take control of your allergies and contact Skin & Allergy Center to discuss your own allergy treatment with allergy drops. All of our allergy drop treatments begin with an in-office visit for personalized allergy testing and a consultation with one of our Tennessee allergy specialists. Allergy drop treatments are performed at-home, allowing you to live comfortably and enjoy the things you love doing without being bothered by allergies or having to worry about regular office visits.

Skin & Allergy Center has three convenient locations in Columbia, Murfreesboro, and Spring Hill, Tennessee. Call today to schedule a personalized consultation with Dr. Sullivan or Dr. Higgins.

Living with Asthma

Asthma’s primary cause is inflamed airways in the lungs. This inflammation makes the airways smaller, which makes it more difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs.

While asthma is most commonly thought of as a “childhood disease,” it is often diagnosed as a new condition in older people. Whether it begins with a nighttime cough or difficulty breathing, asthma can be a very frightening disease.

Signs that you might have asthma include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness

Many seniors diagnosed with asthma have other health conditions to take into consideration, including drug interaction and disease interaction. It can be more challenging to treat adult-onset asthma, but your allergist/immunologist will work with you to provide the best treatment possible.

Treatment

Long-term control medications prevent symptoms and are taken daily. They include:

  • Inhaled Corticosteroids: The most consistently effective long-term control medication
  • Long-Acting Bronchodilators (LABAs): These are used in combination with inhaled corticosteroids
  • Cromolyn and theophylline: Used as alternative controller medications (not preferred)
  • Leukotriene modifiers: Used as alternative controller medications
  • Immunomodulators: Omalizumab modifies the allergic immune response

Quick-relief medications include:

  • Short-Acting Beta Agonists (SABAs) relax airway muscles to give prompt relief of symptoms.

Drugs that can trigger asthma

Beta-blockers may be used for problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease and migraine headache. They may also be used in an eye drop form for treating the eye disease glaucoma. Ideally, a person with asthma would avoid all beta blockers, but these types of drugs may be quite important for your health and may not substantially worsen your asthma. Your physician may conduct a trial using a “specific” beta-blocker. Remember that even beta-blockers in eye drops may make asthma worse, so be sure to tell your ophthalmologist if you have asthma.

Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include some common over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. Approximately 10-20 percent of people with asthma may notice that one or more of these drugs trigger their asthma. These asthma attacks may be severe and even fatal, so patients with known aspirin sensitivity must be very careful to avoid these drugs. Medications that usually don’t cause increased asthma in aspirin-sensitive patients include acetaminophen (low to moderate dose), propoxyphene and prescribed narcotics such as codeine.

ACE Inhibitors, which may be used for hypertension or heart disease, include lisinopril and enalopril. Although they usually don’t cause asthma, approximately 10 percent of patients who receive one of these drugs develop a cough. This cough may be confused with asthma in some patients and possibly trigger increased wheezing in others.

The bottom line in avoiding medication-induced asthma is to talk with your physician about what medications are best for you.

Source: American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology

Allergies and Allergy Treatments

If you suffer from allergies, you know they’re more than the occasional runny nose and watery eyes. Living with allergies can be a frustrating and dangerous experience, but you don’t have to live with them alone.

The Skin & Allergy Center wants you to live a life as unaffected by your allergies as possible. Our double-board certified allergy and asthma specialists, Dr. Ryan Sullivan and Dr. Susan Higgins, have decades of experience diagnosing and treating allergies. They can help you as they’ve helped thousands of other patients.

We serve people from throughout the Nashville area. Call (931) 381-1920 for our Columbia office, (615) 624-5050 for our Murfreesboro office, or (615) 302-5000 for our Spring Hill office.

Nasal Allergies

There are two types of nasal allergies we often see: rhinitis (also known as hay fever) and sinusitis. Rhinitis is inflammation of your mucous membranes. It can be caused by pet dander, mold, dust, and pollen. It can also be triggered by smoke, strong odors or changes in air temperature and humidity. Symptoms of rhinitis include:

  • Congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, mouth, throat, and eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes

Sinusitis is inflammation in your sinuses. It’s most often caused by colds, but people with other allergies are more likely to develop sinusitis than people who don’t have allergies. Sinusitis has many of the same symptoms as rhinitis. It can also present with these signs:

  • Green or gray nasal discharge
  • Headaches
  • Pressure in the face
  • Fever
  • Persistent coughs

Skin Allergies

The most common skin allergies we encounter are eczema, hives, angioedema, and contact dermatitis. Eczema is caused by a gene variation that affects your skin’s ability to retain moisture. Hives and angioedema are related conditions that can be triggered by numerous foods, medications, environmental factors, and other common allergens. Contact dermatitis is caused by touching something that irritates your skin.

Symptoms of skin allergies include:

  • Red, itchy, or scaly skin
  • Swelling of the deeper layers of the skin, such as the eyelids, mouth, or genitals
  • Dry, flaking skin
  • Inflamed or blistered skin
  • An unexplained rash

Skin allergies have thousands of potential triggers, so it’s important that you get allergy testing if you think you have one. The Skin & Allergy Center can diagnose the cause of your skin allergy to help you avoid these painful or unsightly symptoms.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are triggered by your immune system’s overreaction to a food. Your immune system identifies the food as a danger and triggers a protective response. The foods that often cause allergies are:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Food allergies can cause the unpleasant skin conditions we listed above. They can also lead to a much more serious, potentially life-threatening, condition called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is when your immune system responds to an allergen by releasing a flood of chemicals that cause you to go into shock. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weak pulse
  • Swelling of the tongue and constriction of the airways, making it hard to breathe

Anaphylaxis can occur within minutes or seconds of exposure to an allergen, and it can be fatal without treatment. People who are at risk for anaphylaxis should always carry an epinephrine injector with them.

Insect Sting Allergies

Similar to food allergies, insect sting allergies are caused by your immune system’s overreaction to a sting. They can also, like food allergies, trigger anaphylaxis. People with insect sting allergies should always have an epinephrine injector with them. These five insects cause the most allergic sting reactions:

  • Yellow jackets
  • Honey bees
  • Paper wasps
  • Hornets
  • Fire ants

Treating Your Allergies

At the Skin & Allergy Center, we want to help you live as normal a life as you can despite your allergies. Our board-certified doctors will work with you to determine the right treatment for your needs, which may include:

  • Allergy shots:These increase your immunity to allergens by gradually exposing you to increasing amounts over several months.
  • Allergy drops:Allergy drops work like shots, but they’re administered via liquid drops under your tongue in your own home.

Schedule Your Allergy Consultation Today

Our allergy specialists are dedicated to helping you diagnose and treat your allergies. If you think you have allergies, schedule a consultation at the Skin & Allergy Center today. We serve patients from throughout the Nashville area. Call (931) 381-1920 for our Columbia office, (615) 624-5050 for our Murfreesboro office, and (615) 302-5000 for our Spring Hill office.