Inhalant allergies my include pollens, dust, molds, insect particles, and animal danders. The tree pollens are usually worse in the spring, grass pollens in the spring and summer while weed pollens are worse in the fall. Molds and house dust are worse in the winter months but they may show up at any time, especially when the weather is humid or when it has been raining. House dust mites are microscopic bugs that live off of human skin cells that flake off. They are everywhere. It is said the only place on earth where they are not found is at the Dead Sea. Cats produce saliva, hair and urine, all of which can cause allergic reactions.
Keeping windows closed, using air filters either as room units or on furnaces help, but it is virtually impossible to completely avoid pollens even in the most closed environments. Then, too, one has to go outside. There are some chemicals that cut down on house dust mites concentrations; however, some of these may stain carpets and must be tried out first before using. Cutting back on fabric for upholstery, rugs and frequent washing of bed coverings and the use of mattress and pillow covers is really the first line of minimizing house dust mite concentrations.
When antihistamines and environmental management prove ineffective, the desensitization offers the best control of these offending agents. Once the proper management levels have been determined, an allergy extract can be given by injections or by drops placed under the tongue. If an optimal dose is given rather than a maximum tolerated dose, the allergy extract can be safely given by an injection at home, thus avoiding having to go to a doctor’s office. For those who hate needles, drops offer an excellent alternative, but they must be taken every day. For over thirty years, our patients have given their own injections or have taken sublingual drops and have not had any significant problems. We have allowed patient to choose either injections or sublingual drops and have had equally good results with either way.