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What is an Allergy?

" A condition of unusual sensitivity to a substance or substances which, in like amounts, do not affect others."

Allergy is an excessive reaction of the immune system to substances which are normally harmless.


Causes of Nasal Allergies (Allergic Rhinitis - AR)

An allergy is a sensitivity to a substance called an allergen. Nasal allergies are most commonly caused by one or more of four kinds of allergens: pollen, house-dust mites, mold, and animals. Because pollen is a problem only during certain times of the year, it usually causes seasonal nasal allergies. House-dust mites, mold, and animals may be around all year long, and so usually cause perennial nasal allergies. Other substances, called irritants, can bother the nose and make allergy symptoms worse.

Allergic Rhinitis & Asthma

Allergic asthma often shares the same allergic triggers as allergic rhinitis.
It is important to consider allergy and asthma as the manifestations of a hypersensitive "UNITED AIRWAYS".

The same allergens that give some people sneezing fits and watery eyes can cause an asthma attack in others. Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma. About 90% of kids with childhood asthma have allergies, compared with about 50% of adults with asthma. The symptoms that go along with allergic asthma show up after you breathe things called allergens (or allergy triggers) like pollen, dust mites, or mold. If you have asthma (allergic or non-allergic), it gets worse after you exercise in cold air or after breathing smoke, dust, or fumes. Sometimes even a strong smell can set it off. Because allergens are everywhere, it's important that people with allergic asthma know their triggers and learn how to prevent an attack.

What Is Allergic Asthma?

If you have allergic asthma, your airways are extra sensitive to certain allergens. Once they get into your body, your immune system overreacts. The muscles around your airways tighten. The airways become inflamed and over time are flooded with thick mucus.
Whether you have allergic asthma or non-allergic asthma, the symptoms are generally the same. You're likely to:

  • Cough
  • Sneeze
  • Be short of breath
  • Breathe quickly
  • Feel your chest get tight

Common Causes for Allergic Asthma :

Allergens, small enough to be breathed deep into the lungs, include :

  • Windblown pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds
  • Mold spores and fragments
  • Animal dander (from hair, skin, or feathers) and saliva
  • Dust mite faeces
  • Cockroach faeces

Allergens aren't the only thing that can make your allergic asthma worse. Irritants may still trigger an asthma attack, even though they don't cause an allergic reaction.
These Includes :

  • Smoke from tobacco, a fireplace, candles, incense, or fireworks
  • Air pollution
  • Cold air
  • Strong chemical odours or fumes
  • Perfumes, air fresheners, or other scented products
  • Dusty rooms

Your doctor can test you to see what causes your allergic asthma. The two most common (and recommended) methods are :

  • Pricking your skin with a tiny amount of the allergen and measuring the size of the red bumps 20 minutes later
  • A blood test known as a specific IgE or sIgE test

The second National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) guideline on allergic rhinitis & asthma management recommends that all allergic rhinitis & asthma patients who require daily or weekly therapy be evaluated for allergens as possible contributing factors. They also note that, in selected patients with asthma at any level of severity, specific allergy testing may be indicated as a basis for allergen avoidance or immunotherapy.



nasal allergymedications that don't make you sleepy (like over-the-counter generic Claritin), saline rinses, and decongestant nasal sprays (but only for a few days). If these don't work, use nasal steroid sprays and stronger antihistamines. If none of this helps, it may be time to talk to a doctor about allergy shots.
There are many good asthma treatments, but most require a prescription. These medications include inhaled steroids, which fight inflammation, and bronchodilators, which open up your airways. If traditional treatments don't help your allergic asthma, Xolair, an injectable medication that reduces IgE levels, may help.You may be given an asthma inhaler with albuterol, ipratropium, and/or inhaled steroids (anti-inflammatory agents). You should see a gradual improvement in asthma symptoms over six to eight weeks.

Allergy testing is important to guide immunotherapy


Allergen immunotherapy may be especially beneficial when avoidance and medications no longer control the patient's symptoms.

What is sublingual immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy treats the cause of allergies by giving small doses of what a person is allergic to, which increases “immunity” or tolerance to the allergen and reduces the allergic symptoms. Thus, Immunotherapy is designed to build the body’s defenses toward the range of allergens the patient has sensitivity to. The allergen is introduced into the body in small quantities, which are slowly increased to slightly larger quantities, and the body produces a better defense. In this way, immunotherapy modulates the body into building a better defense against a trigger, such as wheat or dust or fungus.

Unlike injection immunotherapy, which is given as shots, sublingual immunotherapy is given as drops under the tongue.

How does the process work?

The first step is to confirm a patient’s allergies through allergy testing. Then, a custom-mixed vial of drops is prepared for the patient. The patient takes drops under the tongue daily. During the first four months, called the “escalation phase,” the dosage is gradually increased. After that, in the “maintenance phase,” the patient takes the same dose of drops each day.

Is sublingual immunotherapy safe?

It is very safe, for both adults and children. Patients take the drops in the convenience of their own homes instead of going to the doctor’s office every week for anti-allergy injections.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed sublingual immunotherapy as a viable alternative to injection immunotherapy.

Does it work ?

Many published scientific studies have shown that it significantly reduces allergy symptoms.

How long must I continue the treatment?

We recommend that patients keep using the drops for 18 months or longer so that the body will build up a lasting "immunity."

How do I start sublingual immunotherapy?

Call Dr. Anita at +91 9766968834 for allergy testing and an evaluation to see if you are likely to benefit from sublingual immunotherapy. If you are, you will be prescribed the sublingual immunotherapy. The vials take a weeks to prepare because these are customised to each patient. During therapy, when your last vial is half empty, please call our office to order your new vial.

Curative: Immunotherapy

Allergen immunotherapy may be especially beneficial when avoidance and medications no longer control the patient's symptoms.
AR encompasses a large spectrum of conditions :

  • Pure AR
  • AR with asthma
  • AR with associated turbinate dysfunction - VMR
  • AR with AFS
  • AR with Rhinosinusitis
  • Otitis media

Allergy and URTIs

If allergen exposure persists (such as in the model of mite allergy), a chronic inflammation occurs
Allergy predisposes the patient to develop more frequent and/or more severe URTI.
ICAM-1 is the principal receptor for rhinovirus. Upregulation of the expression of ICAM-1 due to allergies might increase tissue susceptibility to infection with rhinovirus.



Plants reproduce by moving tiny grains of pollen from plant to plant. Some pollen is carried by bees and some is blown by the wind. It's the wind-blown pollen that causes nasal allergies. The amount of pollen in the air varies from season to season.

House-Dust Mites

House-dust mites are tiny bugs too small to see. They can live in mattresses, blankets, stuffed toys, and carpets. The droppings of these mites are a common indoor cause of nasal allergies. These droppings are found in house dust, such as the dust on bookshelves or in curtains.


Mold loves dark, damp areas. It tends to grow in bathrooms, basements, refrigerators, and in the soil of houseplants. Mold reproduces by sending tiny grains called spores into the air. If these spores are breathed in, they can cause a nasal allergic reaction.


Pets such as cats, dogs, birds, horses, and rabbits are common causes of nasal allergies. Flakes of skin (dander, or dandruff), saliva left on fur when an animal cleans itself, urine in litter boxes and cages, and feathers on birds are all substances that can cause nasal allergies.

Irritants Make Allergies Worse

Although irritants don't cause nasal allergies, they can bother the nose and make allergy symptoms worse. Cigarette smoke, perfume, aerosol sprays, smoke from wood stoves or fireplaces, car exhaust, and strong odors are examples of irritants.

An Allergic Reaction

When you inhale an allergen, it alerts fighting substances called antibodies, which are attached to special cells (mast cells). Allergens stick to these antibodies. When enough antibodies have allergens stuck to them, the cells release a chemical called histamine. This chemical irritates the surrounding nasal tissues, causing allergy symptoms.

Ordering your allergy therapy online is now quick & easy!

Dr. Desai's ENT WORLD is proud to present a novel way of ordering the immunotherapy vaccines online. This service is presently available to patients of the Clinic who already have had their allergy tests performed.

Please email a valid recent allergy test (the allergy test should be performed within the last 2 years) and our doctors will be delighted to customize your immunotherapy regimen according to your allergens in consultation with you.