Are Allergy Drops the Same as Allergy Immunotherapy?

Allergy drops, not to be confused with allergy eye drops, have been gaining popularity for their convenient and effective approach to tackling pesky allergies. But are allergy drops the same as allergy immunotherapy? This option falls under the umbrella of allergy immunotherapy, and while allergy drops are allergy immunotherapy, not all allergy immunotherapy are allergy drops. 

In this blog, we’ll explore allergy immunotherapy and allergy drops to help you better understand the best course of action for combatting your pesky allergies. 

Understanding Allergy Immunotherapy

Allergy immunotherapy (AIT) is a treatment that desensitizes the body to an allergen. It’s much unlike traditional allergy treatments, such as corticosteroids, decongestants, and antihistamines, because it focuses on the allergy, not the symptoms. 

To understand how it works, we need to understand what an allergy is. Simply put, an allergy is a reaction in the body to a foreign substance called an allergen, such as bee venom or pet dander. When your body comes into contact with the allergen, your antibodies send a signal to specific cells that release chemicals, resulting in an allergic reaction. 

allergies-allergy-pexelsThe reaction triggers the symptoms you recognize as your allergy, such as a runny nose and itchy eyes. 

To desensitize your body to the allergen and help your body become less reactive, allergy immunotherapy delivers a small dose of the allergen under your skin or tongue. This small, incrementally increasing dose helps your body adjust, “training” it to become less sensitive. 

It achieves this result by minimizing the production of “blocking” antibodies responsible for the reaction. Over time and with consistent doses, you may find that you can be exposed to the allergen with little to no reaction. 

However, it’s important to note that everybody is different. Most people notice some results within the first year, but the most noticeable results usually take two to three years after beginning treatment. 

Sublingual vs. Subcutaneous Immunotherapy

There are two primary types of allergy immunotherapy: sublingual and subcutaneous. The first, sublingual, is administered under the tongue, often in the form of tablets or drops. 

The latter, subcutaneous immunotherapy, is administered under the skin via an injection. This type of immunotherapy is the most common but requires medical supervision, as adverse side effects are possible. Since it requires frequent doctor visits and regular injections, this option is less common for kids. 

Allergy Drops: The Basics

Allergy drops are a type of sublingual immunotherapy (SCIT) administered under the tongue. They work much the same as other types of allergy immunotherapy, delivering a small dose of the allergen under the tongue. 

Since these drops don’t involve any injections, they’re a popular pick for kids and families. They present little risk of an adverse reaction, so they can be administered at home without the need for a doctor’s supervision. 

Allergy Drops vs. Allergy Eye Drops

Allergy drops, while similar in name, are not the same as allergy eye drops. While the former is a type of allergy immunotherapy, the latter is a traditional treatment for allergies, falling into the antihistamine category. 

Allergy eye drops treat the symptoms of itchiness, redness, and swelling often associated with eye allergies. They provide quick, temporary relief, so they often need to be reapplied multiple times per day until the reaction dissipates. 

Are Allergy Drops the Best Type of Allergy Immunotherapy?

When it comes to choosing the best types of allergy immunotherapy, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. While allergy drops are a popular choice for those who prefer a non-invasive, at-home treatment, they may not be the best option for everyone. 

Subcutaneous immunotherapy is a popular alternative, as it delivers a higher dose of the allergen directly into the bloodstream. However, since it has a higher risk of adverse side effects, it requires medical supervision.

Ultimately, the best-fit hinges on your needs. If you’re unsure which option is best for your allergies, talk to your healthcare provider. 

Closing Thoughts

Allergy drops have become a popular option for allergy immunotherapy, providing a non-invasive, at-home treatment option for many people. While they may not be the right fit for everyone, allergy drops are an effective and convenient option for people from all walks of life. 

If you’re considering allergy drops or any other type of allergy immunotherapy to combat your allergies, remember to talk to your healthcare provider. 

The information on is provided for educational purposes only, and is in no way intended to diagnose, cure, or treat any medical or other condition.

Some links may be sponsored. Products are not endorsed.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health and ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. In addition to all other limitations and disclaimers in this agreement, service provider and its third party providers disclaim any liability or loss in connection with the content provided on this website.

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Marie Benz MD FAAD