By Suzanne Schmidt
At an ear, nose and throat doctor’s office in Wesley Chapel, doctors Brett Scotch D.O. and Paul Di Pasquale D.O. offer an ouchless allergy test and treatment with self-administered drops instead of shots.
Scotch is board certified for otolaryngology and head, neck and facial plastic surgery at E N T & Facial Plastic Surgery Specialists, P. L. The doctors are among the few in the area who offer the treatment.
“The drops have become more mainstream in the United States and have been in Europe for 30 years,” Scotch said. “In many cases they can replace traditional allergy shots. The drops are much more convenient than traditional shots since aside from the first time we administer the drops, the patients can do it themselves.”
The liquid used in the allergy drops is the same as the liquid used in allergy shots. It is made up of allergen and preservative. For example if someone is allergic to pollen, the pollen is ground up and put into a liquid form mixed with a natural glycerin based preservative.
“We build them up from low doses to higher doses,” Scotch said. “We treat their allergy by letting the body’s own immune system recognize what the allergy is by seeing it on a more regular basis. This allows the body to build up immunity to the allergy. This can be used for many different types of allergies and has shown great success in dealing with environmental allergies.”
Some of the more common allergies the drops treat are dust mites, pollen, weeds, trees, grasses, molds and pet dander from dogs, horses and cats.
Testing for allergies can be a painful process with multiple needle pricks to insert the various allergens into the skin, but Scotch and Di Pasquale use a painless method.
“It used to be done with many pinpricks or scrapes,” Scotch said. “What we use is not very painful at all. We can do the test on children as young as 10. If there is a response on the skin, that lets us know what the person is allergic to. Based on the size of the response, that will let us know how allergic the person is to the allergen.”
Scotch said many of his patients appreciate how painless the drops are as well as the convenience.
“We basically custom-make a specific allergy drop for the patient,” Scotch said. “It is an ouchless treatment because patients don’t have to come in every week to get a shot. They just drop a few drops under the tongue everyday after they brush their teeth. They have been proven to be safe.”
Allergy sufferers typical symptoms are: sneezing, runny or congested nose, frequent episodes of sinusitis, itchy and watery eyes, post nasal drip and frequent throat clearing.
“There have been recent studies stating that upwards of 40 percent of people are allergic to something,” Scotch said. “Not everybody responds in a bad way or tries to seek treatment.”
After three to five years of treatment on shots or drops, allergy sufferers are supposed to have about 10 years of immunity to the allergen.
“It is a wonderful thing,” Scotch said. “I have seen many patients successfully treated.”
Scotch said it is important to go to an ear, nose and throat doctor in order to get the right diagnosis.
“We are board certified ear, nose and throat doctors with extensive training in allergic conditions related to allergies,” Scotch said. “Chronic sinus sufferers would benefit from discovering the underlying causes of their problems. If you go to a doctor that is not specifically trained as an ear, nose and throat doctor, then you might not get the level of investigation needed to determine the cause.”
Di Pasquale is board certified for otolaryngology and head, neck and facial plastic surgery. Di Pasquale is himself an allergy sufferer. He switched over from getting the shots to using the drops in the last year.
“I have the worst dust mite and cat allergies,” Di Pasquale said. “Every time I vacuum or go to my neighbor’s house, my eyes would water. Now I just use my drops and I can go and hang out with my neighbor with the cats and I am just fine. It is a great way to treat allergies.”
For years Brian Commons would have spells where his eyes would swell shut and he would get bad headaches, but he never knew why. Recently he was visiting with Scotch for an unrelated throat condition when he discovered he is allergic to oak and pine trees, dogs and even feathers.
Now he takes a few drops everyday and his problems are gone. He has been taking the drops since last year.
“When I would have the allergic reactions, it would happen at all different times of the year so I didn’t think it was allergies,” Commons said. “I had the problem for so long that I had low expectations. This is one of those times when I was pleasantly surprised. I can be outside now. Where I would feel crummy before, now I feel good.”
Commons said he comes all the way from Tampa to see Scotch because he is such a good doctor.
“He is one of the best physicians I have ever seen,” Commons said. “If his office was in Atlanta it would be worth it to me to drive up to see him. He follows through and really makes sure he takes care of you.”
For more information, call (813) 929-6673 or visit www.WesleyChapelENT.com.