Allergies, for example to pollen, dust mites, pet dander or insect stings, are caused by an overactive immune system. Your body treats an otherwise harmless substance as a threat and starts defending itself. This causes allergy symptoms that range from irritating but mild to so severe they’re potentially life-threatening.
When you have allergies the first step usually is trying to avoid the allergen triggering your symptoms. When you can’t, allergy medicines such as antihistamines and corticosteroids may help temporarily ease your stuffy or runny nose, sneezing and watery or itchy eyes.
Allergy immunotherapy goes further than temporarily relieving symptoms. It targets the underlying allergy, not your symptoms, and reprograms your immune system not to see the substance as a threat anymore. Immunotherapy for allergy is the only treatment that can change the course of the disease.