33MD for April 8, 2009

POSTED: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 - 5:56pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:58pm

Spring is here and that means many of you are running to the doctor for allergy shots. Now you can get the same type of treatment without the pain of a needle stick.

Brendan Olexa doesn’t have to get allergy shots. Instead his mom Tami puts six drops under his tongue every day. Tami says the treatment called sub-lingual immunotherapy has stopped her 7-year-old’s spring-time runny nose and breathing problems.

Allergist Robert Anolik says the medicine is the same as the extract used in shots. But, you can take the drops at home. There are no weekly office visits and no risk of an allergic reaction that can sometimes happen with allergy shots. “The sublingual immunotherapy has been used for over 30 years in literally millions of patients and there has not been a single report of a life threatening allergic reaction.”

Family practice Dr. Allan Magaziner says his allergy patients find relief in this funny looking device. “I’ve been using the Neti pot in my practice for about 18 years now.” It looks like a tiny teapot and works by flushing out the nasal cavity with salt water. Research finds it can help relieve sinus pain. “It pushes the trapped impurities, the trapped environmental pollutants, the trapped molds perhaps, or the pollens that affect us adversely. It pushes it along and propels it out of our bodies in a very simple fashion.” The doctor says there are no serious side effects; just make sure the water is not too hot.

The neti pot is under $20 and is used once or twice a day at home.