Immunotherapy offers the closest thing we currently have to a cure for allergies, but it is important to realize that it is not an absolute cure. Currently, there is no complete cure for any type of allergy or any other disease or condition that has at least a partially genetic basis. Though this is disappointing information, it definitely should not leave you without hope for the possibility of better control of your allergic conditions and an improved quality of life.
An allergic disease is a chronic medical condition with a complex genetic and environmental foundation. It can flare, be out of control, be under good control, or be in a type of “remission” state for some time, just like any other chronic disease. Though there is no complete cure, the right form of immunotherapy for you, along with integrative healthcare strategies that help reduce any other factors also aggravating your immune system, can get your allergic disease under very good control. This control is achieved and maintained while you are continually taking your immunotherapy treatment doses. For some people, based on multiple factors and circumstances, this control can then persist for a number of years off treatment as well.
This continued control of allergic disease while off of your immunotherapy regimen is considered being in a state of “sustained tolerance” to your allergies or “remission” of your chronic medical condition. During this time, it might feel like you are cured from your allergies, which is of course a fantastic feeling and should be embraced and enjoyed! However, for your safety and knowledge, it is always important to realize that even during a period of apparent sustained allergen tolerance, you are not guaranteed to not have a reaction upon exposure to your allergen(s), and it is not known exactly how long this remission or sustained tolerance will last. It is best to think of this “sustained tolerance” time as a gift of some time off of some form of immunotherapy treatment, not as a given for everyone after a treatment course, and not as a cure.
There are ways to give your immune system the best chance of maintaining your sustained tolerance and remission state as long as possible. Dr. Schroeder will review methods with you based on your specific situation when you reach this point in your treatment program.