woman sneezing allergies

Pollen season is in full swing, leaving many Hampton Roads residents snuffling and sneezing their way through the day.

If over-the-counter medications like Claritin and Zyrtec aren’t bringing any relief, EVMS allergy experts say there are other options.

Kent Lam, MD, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology, says new treatments are available and continue to improve.

“What has been new over the past few years has been sublingual immunotherapy tablets,” Dr. Lam says. “What we're doing is exposing patients to the allergens that are causing the symptoms, and over time, that helps their immune system build up a tolerance.”

This is a great option, he adds, for those who might have avoided allergy treatments because they’re afraid of needles.

It’s also a solution for those who are busy. Instead of coming in every week for shots, they can just take a tablet at home.

“That said,” he explains, “tablets don’t work for every allergy, so we would need to see the patient and do the allergy testing to find out what’s causing their problems.”

At EVMS, the allergy testing system also avoids needles by using small plastic bristles to apply the allergens.

So far this year, Dr. Lam has seen a rise in the number of patients who have turned to this treatment. “It can take a few months to start seeing results,” he says. “But patients are telling us they are seeing a difference.”

To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call EVMS Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeons at 757.388.6200 or visit EVMS ENT Surgeons online.