JACKSONVILLE, Fla. –
It's been tough for allergy sufferers this spring and summer. Local doctors says allergies have been relentless and they've seen a steady flow of sinusitis and upper respiratory infections each week.
You may have noticed that almost every week, we've mentioned allergy-related sinusitis and upper respiratory infections in our What's Going Around reports.
It's been rough for allergy sufferers and all that congestion can mean loading up on over-the-counter drugs. But there's a recent improvement in allergy drops that could spell long-lasting relief.
For Tina Falvey, this used to be the season of agony. She couldn't even enjoy a simple, easy breath. But for this past year, Tina has been taking immunotherapy allergy drops. Doctor Chris Thompson is getting great results prescribing them to his patients.
“If you really want curative allergy therapy, you’ve got to do immunotherapy," said Chris Thompson, Allergist and Otolaryngist Texan Allergy.
Allergy drops aren't new, but new way to make them are boosting their popularity. The drops now come in more pure and predictable doses.
“Most of the studies show that it works about 85 to 90 percent of patients who are compliant with therapy, meaning they take it regularly,” said Thompson.
Allergy drops work by putting small doses of the allergen into the body. That builds up the body's immunity to the allergen. Doses are increased to a maintenance level, and taken for about three years. Once that's done, the patient is cured.
“It’s a much more natural way of defending yourself against allergies, there is no processing by the liver, it simply goes into the immune system.”
The drops are a real game changer for kids. Carlos, 5, had serious allergies and was taking over-the-counter drugs daily, sometimes even antibiotics.
“We were also doing breathing treatments on the nebulizer,” said Carlos' mom, Kristina Collmar.
After a year of allergy drops, Carlos is now tearing it up on the t-ball field.
Allergy drops are safe for everyone from two to 90-years-old, as long as they're otherwise healthy. The therapy needs to be consistent for three to five years to completely see the end of allergies.
What's Going Around
In Duval County: most people on the Westside, Northside and San Marco are dealing with allergies.
In Clay County at the Care Spot in Middleburg: the staff there says it's been slower than usual. They've seen a few cases of pink eye and allergy-related sinusitis and upper-respiratory infections.
In St. Johns County at the Healing Arts Urgent Care in St. Augustine: swimmer's ear has been on the rise. Doctor's say the warmer the weather gets, the higher the amount of cases. Make sure you dry your ears completely after swimming. See your doctor as soon as you feel any pain in your ears. There has been several cases of a viral stomach bug lasting 1-3 days and strep throat.
In Nassau County at the Care Spot in Yulee: it's unusual during the summer, but the staff says they have seen a couple cases of the flu. Strep throat is also a problem.