Winter 2018 Newsletter
Are your Christmas and New Year’s Eve miserable from allergies? Does the month of January bring along with it mountains of mucus and tons of itching and coughing? Well, chances are that you are allergic to mountain cedar pollen. The good news is, there are ways to prevent or at least lessen your allergy symptoms. But you have to start your allergy treatment regimen early (that means NOW) in order to prevent the symptoms from getting too out of control.
“Mountain cedar” pollen comes from the Juniperus ashei tree, and its peak months are from December through February in San Antonio and surrounding areas. Mountain cedar pollen generally starts after the first “real freeze” in the Hill Country.
Patients often ask: what is the best allergy medicine? There is no single answer to that question—it depends on the patient. Treatment options include oral allergy pills or liquids, nasal sprays or eye drops. If you have pretty bad allergies, you should likely do all of the above to help prevent symptoms. We can help you prepare for the mountain cedar season and get you on a preventive regimen to make the season much better!
Allergy immunotherapy is the most effective treatment for all allergens (pollen, molds, dust mites, cat, dog) and insect allergies. It also works very well for mountain cedar! People frequently wonder what types of immunotherapy exist for mountain cedar.
1. Allergy shots, or injection immunotherapy, have been around for over one hundred years and have decades of research demonstrating their effectiveness. There are two types of build-up schedules for allergy shots.
A. With a standard build-up schedule, injections are given twice a week initially for 8 weeks, then weekly for a period of time, and then typically once every 2-4 weeks once the top maintenance dose is achieved. Ideal treatment duration is at least three years for best long-term results. Speak to us at your next visit or set an appointment to discuss whether you are a candidate. Insurance generally covers this treatment.
B. We also offer rush immunotherapy, where you do the majority of your build-up injections in one day. This gets you advanced to a higher dose quickly and improves your allergy symptoms sooner. After the rush, you continue on weekly injections to advance to the top maintenance dose. Ask if you are a candidate for rush immunotherapy.
2. Allergy drops, or sublingual drop therapy (SLIT drops), are now available at our office, and can be used to treat your mountain cedar allergy. Though felt to be effective if dosed high enough, SLIT drops will not be covered by your insurance plan as they are not FDA approved. The benefit is that you can treat at home and there are no needles. The risks of anaphylaxis (serious allergic reaction) are lower than injection immunotherapy but in order to benefit from SLIT you have to take the drops under your tongue every day and the course is generally three years. As such, compliance or consistency with SLIT may be more difficult due to having to remember to take it daily.
We are Board Certified in Allergy and Immunology. We had to take an additional 2 years of training along with taking a comprehensive exam in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. We spends countless hours each year staying up to date on the latest research and newest treatment options in the field. We offer highly specialized testing and treatment that is individualized to your needs. We thank you for the trust you have given to us in caring for you, your family and friends.
Dr. Dennis Dilley
Dr. Christopher Calabria