This write-up outlines LDA-instruction for immunotherapy. Low Dose Allergy (LDA) Immunotherapy may help you fight food and environmental allergies. The concept is similar to vaccines wherein your body becomes resistant to a particular disease. Instead of a weakened pathogen, LDA uses a mixture of allergens at a very low dose. The body recognizes these allergens during the treatment and eventually tolerates them.
Overview of Low Dose Allergy (LDA) Immunotherapy
In this article:
- What Is LDA?
- What Are the Benefits of LDA?
- How Long Does LDA Take to Work?
- Are There Safety Precautions to Follow During the Treatment?
What Is LDA?
Dr. Smith explained, “LDA shots work by tricking your immune system—by putting in a tiny, tiny dose of the things you are allergic to deep into your immune system.”
A gradual exposure to minimal doses of allergens, which are immunologically activated by the enzyme glucuronidase, may change how you react to them.
“It works because there is not very much there so the immune system says we can ignore this [allergen],” he said.
There are two ways to administer LDA — sublingual application and intradermal injections. The latter is more common.
What Are the Benefits of LDA?
The primary goal of LDA is resistance to allergens. Once you are able to tolerate common allergens, you are more resistant to the following:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Seasonal allergies
- Food allergies
How Long Does LDA Take to Work?
It takes several months before you get the full, sustainable benefit of the LDA treatment. You may experience immediate relief from allergy symptoms in the first three treatments. Some people may even have a positive reaction right after the first shot. But this improvement may not last long and appears to wear out after a few weeks.
“When you get your first LDA shot, it may only work for three weeks or maybe two months,” said Dr. Smith.
Although some allergy symptoms return during the first few months, your body eventually adjusts to the treatment and becomes more resilient to allergens. It may take about 6 treatment sessions or 12 months before you notice a long-lasting improvement.
“As time goes on, these shots really start to last four months, six months, and even longer.”
There is a two-month interval in the first 5 or 6 sessions. Intervals gradually increase about a year after the start of the LDA treatment.
“As we progress, we get better results and longer duration. So, we can drop the frequency of injections,” he said.
At the 15th treatment, some people may not need another LDA shot.
Note: You cannot receive an LDA treatment sooner than two months from the last.
Are There Safety Precautions to Follow During the Treatment?
Expect your doctor to give you guidelines as you go through the treatment. Remember to strictly follow these rules, especially during the three critical days of the treatment—the day before the treatment, the day the doctor administers LDA, and the day after the treatment.
“You are most sensitive to problems right after you get your LDA shot,” said Dr. Smith. “During these three days, we want to minimize your exposure to allergens.”
Three weeks after the LDA, your body manufactures new immune cells. Do not expose yourself to triggers that normally aggravate your symptoms. This helps the treatment work properly and protects you from sensitivity.
Note: You may experience swelling at the LDA site. Sometimes, the area is also red and itchy, but all these are usually temporary reactions.
Learn more about Low Dose Allergy (LDA) Immunotherapy from Dr. Smith in this LDA-instruction video:
While you are going through the LDA treatment, it is possible to still have allergic reactions. This is so as each makeup adjusts differently to allergens. But the success rate of LDA treatments is quite high. It is particularly known to help with allergic rhinitis and asthma. If you are prone to these, LDA treatment may be worth a shot. Just make sure your doctor gives you a thorough screening before the treatment and that you really understand the guidelines.
What tips do you have for people with allergies? Share them with us in the comments section.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the nutritional products mentioned is intended to Diagnose, Treat, Cure, or Prevent Any Disease.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 29, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.