Oral Immunotherapy Treatment in McKinney and Southlake
Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a treatment used to desensitize the immune system. With OIT, a patient consumes gradually increasing doses of an allergen. At TexasAllergyMD, this innovative therapy is one of our most effective allergy treatments, consistently helping adults and children reduce the impact of food allergies.
Foods such as peanuts and tree nuts are a common cause of uncomfortable symptoms, and in rare cases may even be life-threatening. If you or your child are at risk from severe reactions, visit us in McKinney/Prosper or Southlake and see how oral immunotherapy treatment can transform your daily life.
Understanding Oral Immunotherapy Treatment
Also known as food allergy desensitization, oral immunotherapy treatment helps patients build tolerance to foods like milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. As a long-term food allergy treatment and management plan, OIT will methodically expose a patient to their specific allergen through daily consumption. Over months of consistent treatment, the immune system is essentially retrained to see the allergen as harmless, rather than being a threat. With careful monitoring, the oral immunotherapy treatment helps patients eat with fewer restrictions, significantly improving their quality of life.
The Oral Immunotherapy Treatment Process
As a leading food allergy specialist in North Texas, Dr. Mireku is committed to reducing the impact of allergy symptoms on people’s lives through personalized, patient-focused allergy care. At TexasAllergyMD, the following is a general overview of the OIT treatment process.
- Initial Consultation – Patients undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether they are well-suited for OIT (including allergy testing services).
- Initial Dose and Escalation – Dr. Mireku administers the initial doses while closely monitoring patient response and watching for adverse reactions.
- Build-Up Phase – The patient continues to receive progressively larger doses of the allergen to build up tolerance.
- Maintenance Phase – At this stage the patient can safely consume a significant dose, and will continue taking the allergen to maintain immunity.
Though successful, OIT is not considered to be a “food allergy cure.” However, oral immunotherapy is highly effective in building tolerance to foods, increasing dietary options – and in reducing food-related stress and anxiety.
Common Questions About Oral Immunotherapy
Oral immunotherapy treatment is appropriate for both adults and children. The allergen doses and treatment process are tailored to a person’s age, severity of allergies and so on.
The duration of an OIT program varies, typically ranging from several months to a few years. The time required depends on the patient’s response to the food allergy desensitization process.
The risks of oral immunotherapy treatment include allergy symptoms like itching and hives. A severe reaction such as anaphylaxis is possible, though rare. Patients are closely monitored to manage any side effects. In a food allergy emergency, an epinephrine injector may be used as a first step to interrupt the symptoms.
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