Allergy Drops vs. Allergy Shots: What’s Best for You?
We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Soon enough, spring will turn into summer – and that’s when allergy season arrives. As a result, you may break out the over-the-counter eye drops and pills to limit your reaction to certain triggers. What if those medications aren’t enough? That’s when it’s time to compare allergy drops vs. allergy shots.
It’s essential to learn about your options if your allergy symptoms are severe. Take a look at the difference between these two solutions so that you can make the best choice for your health.
What Are Allergy Drops?
Every year, more than 50 million Americans encounter seasonal and indoor allergens. Those that need an alternative to OTC medications often turn to allergy shots. Recently, many have started to consider a different route known as allergy drops.
This remedy works as sublingual immunotherapy. In this process, a patient places purified allergens underneath their tongue. These doses aren’t large enough to cause a severe reaction. Instead, they help the body learn about potential triggers so that it can prevent symptoms later on.
Though the FDA considers this treatment to be an experimental therapy, Europeans have used allergy drops safely for decades. Over time, they’ve become an effective alternative to allergy shots, especially for younger children. Most individuals can expect to take allergy drops every few days for about three to five years.
What Are Allergy Shots?
If you suffer from allergic rhinitis or allergic conjunctivitis, you may have heard about allergy shots. Unlike allergy drops, allergy shots have been a staple for patients for over 100 years. They’re a common solution for seasonal and indoor allergens, as well as insect stings.
Similar to allergy drops, allergy shots also help the body through immunotherapy. A doctor administers a dose that allows the body to familiarize itself with a distinct allergen. At the moment, allergy shots aren’t available for those with food allergies. That said, it may be possible to treat severe eczema cases with allergy shots.
If you were to choose allergy shots as a treatment, you’d receive injections over several weeks and months. A physician typically does so on a schedule that involves a build-up phase and a maintenance phase. The second period may last for up to five years as you undergo monthly appointments.
The Differences Between Both Treatments
For the most part, allergy drops and allergy shots work the same. Each treatment has a cohesive end goal, which revolves around desensitization. When your body becomes exposed to particular allergens, it can formulate a way to cope with them. Eventually, you should be able to avoid allergic reactions altogether.
If you want to examine allergy drops vs. allergy shots side by side, you’ll find that the differences are more related to price and administration. Because they don’t have FDA approval, insurance companies don’t cover allergy drops. This aspect could create problems for some patients, though it’s important to note that allergy drops may cost as much as allergy shots when you consider travel.
Those with severe allergies may want to choose allergy shots because their physician has to administer them. After you receive your dosage, you have to stay for 30 minutes so that a medical professional can monitor any potential reactions to the treatment. For some, this assurance matters.
Consider Either Approach for Allergy Relief
In the end, it’s essential to speak with your doctor about your options. The allergy drops vs. allergy shots debate should include an expert so that you can make the correct choice.