Many people believe that eating local honey will help with their seasonal allergy symptoms. This belief is based on a half truth and one major misunderstanding. The principle of desensitization, that exposure to small amounts of the thing you are allergic to will make you less sensitive over time is sound. In fact, this is the principle behind allergy immunotherapy or allergy shots. However, there is just not enough pollen in honey to have a lasting effect. More importantly however, is the fact that the pollen in honey comes from the wrong plants. The plants that cause most seasonal allergy symptoms, grasses, weeds, and trees. are wind pollinated, not insect pollinated. So bees do not visit these plants and so the pollen that causes allergies is unlikely to find it’s way into honey.
“Allergy shots have come in for criticism over the years because, well, they are shots and require repeat visits to the doctor’s office — two things children really don’t like.
And many parents may wonder — in some cases, rightfully, alas — whether the allergy doctor is overdiagnosing allergies and overtreating their children. Dr. Cox argues that allergists get to the root of the cause instead of just treating symptoms.
A new study published last month in the peer-reviewed Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, could actually help eliminate allergy symptoms after only 18 months. What’s more, shots may help save you money in the long run. Among the children with allergic rhinitis studied, shots helped to reduce total health care costs by a third, and prescription drug costs by 16 percent, said Dr. Cox, who was a co-author of the study
The first year of allergy shots, which includes a three-month build-up period during which a child receives injections as often as twice a week until the proper dosage is found, would cost a bit less than $1,000 for the year, according to Dr. Cox. The next year, with twice-a-month injections, would total an estimated $350.”
References:A Child’s Allergies Are Serious but Can Be Treated Effectively. NYTimes, 2010.
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