The real value of seeing an allergist is the potential actually to become less allergic. For all that we can do with modern medicine, we have very few treatments that make medical problems go away permanently. For conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes, we have excellent medications, but as soon as we stop treating them, they come back. This is not the case with allergies. We have ways to change the immune system to make people less allergic. Although not everyone who undergoes immunotherapy will have life‐long relief, the improvement from immunotherapy lasts for many years in many people.
There is much confusion about immunotherapy. What you hear about in the news is regarding cancer treatment ‐ oncologists use immunotherapy to manipulate the patient’s immune system to fight off and kill the cancer. The form of immunotherapy allergists use trains the immune system to stop reacting so violently against common allergens. We can essentially make you less allergic, and many people lose their allergic sensitivities altogether.
Most people prefer this “natural” treatment ‐ after all, we aren’t exposing your body to anything you don’t already inhale from the environment. However, it is all in the way the immune system gets exposed. Instead of inhaling these allergens into the nose and mouth, we inject them under the skin, which causes the immune system to learn to stop reacting to them!