It's that time of year again -- when allergies wreak havoc on those who want to enjoy the outdoors. Between 40 million and 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. Traditional treatment with over-the-counter or prescription meds and allergy shots work for some, but for others, relief is still out of reach. There may soon be a more convenient way to attack allergies
Nothing slowed Teresa Pradhan down… until she went to bat against allergies.
"You can't breathe," Pradhan told Ivanhoe. "You get a runny nose."
She tried dozens of over-the-counter meds for ragweed allergies, but her body built up a resistance, and she didn't want shots.
"Most people don't particularly like shots," John Fahrenholz, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., told Ivanhoe.
Some need more than 40 injections in a six-month period, and there's a high drop out rate.
"It probably approaches at least 50 percent," Dr. Fahrenholz said.
Pradhan is part of a trial testing drops instead shots to treat ragweed allergies. One drop a day under the tongue.
"European studies suggest that it's safer, fewer reactions to the drops compared to receiving shots, and it's convenient," Dr. Fahrenholz explained.
What's your allergy IQ? True or false: allergies start during childhood? False. Adult on-set allergies are becoming more common.
Yes or no: allergies go away after the first frost? Nope. Grass and ragweed might fade, but mold, dust and animal dander last all year.
Finally, staying inside is the best way to avoid pollen allergies. That's false, too. If you know what to avoid, being outdoors shouldn't be a problem.
During the trial for the drops, Pradhan found relief. She's a softball slugger who refuses to let allergies take her out of the game.
The allergy drops don't require FDA-approval to be marketed in the U.S. They have been approved for use in Europe for several years.
The most common side effects for the drops are itching under the tongue and stomach aches. If results of the trial are successful in the United States, the drops could be available in the next few years.