Being allergic to a particular food can disrupt the life of the sufferer and their family. Depending on the severity of the allergy, the issue can potentially be fatal. The problem is compounded when the allergen is a common one that can easily come into contact with the afflicted individual. Avoiding that specific food can be a matter of life or death for some. Because of this, you may find an innovative therapy to be beneficial. Oral immunotherapy, also known as OIT, involves introducing small doses of the offending food to patients in increasing increments in order to sensitize them to their allergic reaction. The treatment is offering hope for a number of people, and it could be right for you.
About Oral Immunotherapy
By gradually increasing the amount of allergen a patient is exposed to, the patient becomes desensitized to its effects just enough that they can tolerate any accidental exposure to the offending substances. The process occurs over a period of time. Patients receive these small amounts of food in a controlled atmosphere. They are monitored by our team of medical professionals, and the amounts of allergen given are precisely determined in advance. The hope is to provide assurance that accidental exposure won’t be harmful. Some patients actually develop immunity to the degree that they are able to once again consume the food item without issue. However, it all depends on the unique situation.
How It Works
Prior to exposure to the allergen, you will first be given a series of shots that will cause your body’s immune response to lower. In the weeks after receiving your injections, you will begin the oral immunotherapy in which just a tiny bit, such as a grain, of the food you are allergic to will be given to you. Over the following months, the amount is steadily increased until desensitization is reached.
It’s important to understand that oral immunotherapy is a medical treatment that should only be performed by trained health care professionals. Do not attempt a similar approach at home. Give our team at Columbia Asthma & Allergy Clinic a call if you’d like to schedule a consultation. You and your loved ones don’t have to live in fear of food. Contact us today to book an appointment at our office in Washington, Oregon, or California.