Asthma Sufferers Saving Money with Allergy Drops

health-care-costs

Headline in The New York Times this past Sunday: The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath The article detailed the high cost of asthma medications and the hardship this poses to families who have sufferers. Asthma is noted as the most common chronic disease affecting Americans of all ages (about 40 million people). Today’s asthma medications are effective at controlling asthma, if they are taken regularly; however, these medications only control the disease, they do not reverse the disease. The escalation in the cost of asthma drugs is very clear from looking at the cost of the most common asthma inhaler: albuterol. Albuterol is a beta-agonist medication that immediately opens up the airways that are in spasm during an asthma attack.

asthma-inhaler

Ten years ago an albuterol inhaler cost 15 dollars. Today the new HFA versions (which do not release gases that damage the environment or your lungs) are between 50 and 100 dollars.

Another medication (which is used more specifically for chronic asthma) is inhaled cortisone. Medical research has shown that asthma has an inflammatory component that causes the airways to stay inflamed and in spasm. In the past, oral cortisone was used to control the inflammation, but it had too many side-effects: weight gain, elevated blood pressure and bone-thinning (osteoporosis). The inhaled cortisones are safer, but still carry some long-term concerns. Again, they are “controller” medications, and they do not reverse asthma permanently. The cost of inhaled cortisone, such as Pulmicort, can be 175 dollars or more. It is now widely agreed among asthma experts that allergic triggers are a big factor in setting off allergic inflammation. So, how can allergic inflammation be tamed long-term? This was not mentioned in The New York Times article, and barely ever gets mentioned in these articles in general: Allergen Immunotherapy

allergy-drops

Allergy drops—safe and effective

Allergen immunotherapy has been around for decades, and been shown in recent studies to prevent and reverse asthma. At the Mitchell Medical Group, we have been using sublingual allergy immunotherapy (also called allergy drops) for 15 years with excellent success. Success to us means that patients are relieved of symptoms, and that they either have decreased use of these expensive medications or don’t need them at all! Sublingual allergy immunotherapy targets the allergens that children and adults commonly encounter in daily life: dust mites, mold, pollen and unfortunately those lovable animals (I mean cats and dogs, not reptiles) that so many have as pets. In my book, Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution (Marlowe 2006), I devote two chapters (6 and 7) to explaining asthma and how allergy drops can change a patient’s life. Because of a higher frequency of viruses, and an increase in mold and dust, due to the change in weather, autumn is typically a time when asthma can flare up. Read up on how sublingual allergy immunotherapy can change your life.

Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC & Long Island

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