Allergy season in Phoenix and Scottsdale is especially pronounced during the “cooler months” where temperatures at its highs average 70 degrees. Typically, December through May are peak allergy seasons in Phoenix and Scottsdale. As a result, some people who migrate to the Sonoran desert in hopes of escaping their allergy symptoms are usually surprised to find that their allergy symptoms has worsened. For others, they may develop moderate to severe allergy symptoms after they have established residence, years later.
One thing that many residents and visitors alike may not know is that more than 38% of the population in Phoenix and Scottsdale will react with mild-to-severe allergy symptoms. In fact, because of the beautiful and comfortable winter climate, the unusually large number of germinating trees, flowers, plants, and mold cause even higher levels of pollen and allergens in the air.
The most common reported problem is Allergic Rhinitis or otherwise known as runny nose, sneezing, and hay fever. However, allergy symptoms can be misleading and is often missed. Symptoms such as:
1. Blurred vision due to runny eyes.
2. Allergic Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye).
3. Asthma and difficulty breathing.
4. Sporadic rashes or hives.
5. Head aches and Migraines.
6. Diarrhea, nausea, bloating
7. cold or flu like symptoms.
9. Chronic fatigue.
10. Generalized malaise.
Allergy treatments can vary from doing nothing to immunotherapy (Immune System Desensitization). Commonly, over-the-counter drugs such as Claritin or Benadryl, for example, are used to address the symptoms. If the allergy symptoms are moderate to severe, there are prescription-strength medications that doctors prescribe to help cope with the symptoms.
The best treatment to address the hypersensitive immune system to normally benign environmental factors such as pollen or foods (nuts, shell fish, dairy, etc.) is to be tested first, and then to be treated to desensitize the immune system.
Testing can be varied. Allergens can be tested through blood draws, skin scratch tests, and skin prick tests. Nevertheless, all of these testing modalities are looking for specific environmental or food agents that cause inappropriate immune reactions in patients. While all of the testing modalities are effective in their own right, the skin prick testing with multiple universal environmental and food allergens is the most effective.
Skin Prick Testing This testing relies on the surface of the affected skin developing a mild irritation reaction, which is not life-threatening or severe. The severity of the reaction is recorded. This allows the treating doctor to diagnose allergy to specific environmental or food allergens. This will then allow the doctor to choose the most appropriate treatment that is specific.
In terms of specific treatment geared towards desensitizing the immune system, sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) or Allergy Drops that contain Universal Antigens is the best treatment in resolving the immune system’s abnormal response to otherwise normally occurring environmental or food substances. That is because this mode of treatment contains both sensitive and non-sensitive environmental or food allergens that are known to cause severe allergic symptoms that most patients suffer from. In this way, non-tested allergens that will cause allergic reactions will still be covered. That is why Universal allergy drop serums are so effective. Additionally, patient compliance and ease of use is very high because there are no painful shots or weekly or twice-weekly visits to the doctor’s office to obtain shots.
In Europe, sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) or Allergy Drops are quickly becoming the standard of treatment for the reasons mentioned. In the United States, sublingual immunotherapy is not currently approved by the FDA, but the serums and components are all natural AND approved. The route of administration, shots-versus-drops, is the only component that is not approved However, FDA Phase III pivotal trial results performed by Greer Laboratories show overwhelming evidence in support of European findings and usage of allergy drop treatment. Additionally, 2008 New England Journal of Medicine article, specifically supports the efficacy of allergy drops and outlines their superiority over traditional shots.
While there is intense debate about the route of administration of single allergen shot therapy versus universal allergen oral drops, one cannot dispute the efficacy and practicality of all allergy drops. Additionally, allergy drops, in addition to being more practical and effective, are more cost effective when considering copays and deductibles involved in weekly or bi-weekly shot administrations. In fact, allergy drops are a full 30% cheaper.
With these treatment options available, it is prudent to consider getting to the source of the problems associated with allergies. Instead of treating the symptoms associated with allergies in the Phoenix or Scottsdale area, it might be time to address the exact cause of allergies and work towards freedom from allergies.
Pollen and Allergy Tracker and Forecast