Asthma by the Numbers, an article in yesterday’s New York Times, called attention to the fact that asthma continues to affect millions of Americans and costs about 56 billion dollars to control. The Times’ final line in the article speaks to the key issue: “Clearly, a lot more needs to be done to reduce the triggers and manage this disease.” Amen!
But what can be done to prevent the rise of asthma? In my book, Dr. Dean Mitchell’s Allergy and Asthma Solution (Marlowe 2006) I dedicate a full chapter as to what can be done to prevent and reverse asthma. The special ingredient in my program is sublingual allergy immunotherapy, also known as allergy drops. Studies have clearly shown that for allergic asthmatics, which account for about 70% of the asthmatic population, you can identify and eliminate all key allergens from their environment or you can treat them with allergy immunotherapy, which can reverse the process and significantly decrease or eliminate the need for medication. I have treated children and adults for over 15 years with sublingual allergy drops, and my experience is that this can be done safely, conveniently (at home, it doesn’t get better than that) and effectively.
I used to get a lot of questions from patients, and some doctors, who, when I mentioned this treatment would say, “I never heard of that.” I think the genie is going to come out of the bottle very soon – sublingual allergy drops are ready for prime time and it will make a huge impact on patients with asthma all over the country. By treating the underlying cause that triggers the bronchospasm (closing of the bronchioles), you decrease the amount of allergic inflammation that is the hallmark of chronic asthma. The other gratifying aspect of allergy drops is that after a few years of treatment a patient is finished – it’s not a life-long relationship.
My biggest concern for all Americans is that because of the trend to do less in healthcare, the opportunity to prevent and reverse many disease processes will be missed. None of us should be thought of as a number, and when it comes to our own or our children’s health, we have to advocate for the best possible care available.
Dr. Dean Mitchell M.D.
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC & Long Island