Dr. Langford will determine the best allergy treatment or asthma treatment for you depending on your symptoms and testing results. A combined treatment approach to attack your allergy symptoms, asthma, or immunologic issues is often the most effective and commonly utilized method. Allergy treatment options include allergy shots, medications, and patient education. We have newer treatments at our disposal as well as key FDA-approved treatments. Occasionally, Dr. Langford may consider a non FDA-approved treatment if it is in the patient’s best interests. We work closely with reputable company pharmacies when necessary.
Immunotherapy is a preventative allergy treatment which serves to alter the immune system so that through a long-term treatment plan the body will no longer react to the troublesome allergen(s). The allergy shot is given in the arm and contains a very small dose of the allergen. Because the shot does not require muscle penetration, patients typically do not experience soreness or pain. During the build-up phase which lasts between 2-6 months, the dose of allergen is initially small but increases until the necessary dosage for immunity is met. After the patient has completed the build-up phase, they will move into the maintenance phase which lasts between 3-5 years.
Conditions often treated with immunotherapy can include:
- Eye & nasal allergies (conjunctivitis)
- Allergic asthma
- Immunologic diseases
- Stinging insect allergies
- Pet dander
- Dust mites
- Rhinitis (hay fever)
Minor symptoms from the allergy shot may appear such as redness, itchiness, or swelling of the area. Extremely rarely, a patient could experience concerning symptoms that require medical attention, which is why we have patients stay at Langford Allergy for 20 minutes after your allergy treatment. Often, primary care doctors in surrounding areas are willing to administer this treatment. Be sure to thank them!
Allergy shots or immunotherapy are the only way to successfully treat the cause of the allergy and reduce the number of allergy medications necessary. It is a treatment that requires a time commitment during the initial phase, but is well worth it as the bulk of your treatment course will likely be monthly visits. You will be surprised at how easy and painless it is to have immunotherapy each week, and we are confident you will be pleased with the results. Dr. Langford offers convenient shot hours and three office locations, and will work with you to make this treatment less-demanding on your schedule. Allergy shots are covered by most insurance plans as some classify immunotherapy as preventative care and cover the treatment with no out-of-pocket costs.
Accelerated, or rush, immunotherapy is an allergy shot treatment plan with the purpose of achieving a maintenance dose more quickly than standard immunotherapy. This is done by increasing the frequency of doses from a several month treatment plan to a 1-3 day treatment plan. Rush immunotherapy is not for everyone, but it is safe, effective, and can offer relief very quickly. Dr. Langford has performed over 100 of these rush immunotherapy sessions and individualizes them for safety.
Learn more about rush immunotherapy.
Insurance and Allergy Shots
Some Georgia state policies offer allergy services at no out-of-pocket cost. Allergies shot visits typically do not require a copay, but this varies greatly among plans. Dr. Langford’s staff works with patients to make the financial aspects of immunotherapy less of a burden. However, we are required by contracts to charge when specified. In general, most insurance companies recognize that allergy shots actually save them money. Did you know that your nose spray for example, can cost your insurance $100 while you pay a $20 copay?
There are a variety of medications that alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms including:
- Nasal steroids
- Inhaled steroids
- Nasal antihistamines
- Oral antihistamines
- Anti-inflammatory medications
While many of these medications are available over-the-counter, Dr. Langford will help you decide which will be best for your symptoms, how often and how much to take, and how to prevent side-effects. Langford Allergy also offers newly FDA-approved medications such as Grastek and Ragwitek. Dr. Langford works with patients to find a medication regimen that is doable logistically and financially.
Resources & Education
It is our goal at Langford Allergy to help you understand what causes allergies and how best to prevent troublesome reactions. In combination with medication or immunotherapy, Dr. Langford will educate you on how to avoid the circumstances that trigger your asthma or allergic reactions.
At times, certain lifestyle changes are recommended such as keeping windows closed at all times during pollen season, reducing humidity in your home, removing pets from sleeping areas, or changing your diet. Dr. Langford gives special attention to educating his patients on asthma attack prevention strategies. Cold weather, exposure to allergens, and respiratory infections can often trigger asthma attacks, and it is critical to avoid these situations when possible. Optimizing asthma health, even in mild cases, could prevent that usual bronchitis.
MissionAllergy.com is a wonderful resource and Dr. Langford exclusively recommends their bedding products for dust mite control.
During your consultation, Dr. Langford will discuss the best option for you and answer any questions you may have. Hopefully all of your questions will be answered by the end of your visit, but we are available for questions at any time.