Exposure therapy has long been used in mental and behavioral health circles to help patients build up a resistance to that which scares them. Since the human body is designed to build resistance to other pathogens and illnesses, it begs the question: can exposure therapy work for other medical purposes? It is obvious that it works for things like new strains of flu and the common cold, but does it work for things like allergies? Here is a possible new allergy treatment you may want to try when you are tired of the pills and sprays or find that nothing is really working for you anymore.
Exposure Therapy as It Applies to Allergies
Exposure therapy can work for mild to moderate allergies and sensitivities. As long as you do not need to carry an epi-pen around with you, you have only a mild to moderate allergy/sensitivity. (Severe to profound allergy sufferers may try exposure therapy, but only under the very watchful eyes of their doctors.) Essentially, this type of treatment requires a very slow and gradual introduction of one of the things to which you seem to have an allergy.
As you develop a tolerance for the small "doses" of the allergen, it is increased. For example, say that you have an allergy to cats and/or pet dander. You would want to spend just a few minutes each day in a room with a cat and without medication of any kind. Your allergist will tell you how and when to increase exposure time. Usually, after two to four weeks with minimal exposure to the cat, additional minutes are added until you have built up a resistance to that. This continues until you do not seem to have any reaction to the cat at all. Your allergist may move on to another allergen that gives you problems and walk you through exposure therapy to that.
The Success Rate
There is a good chance you may be able to develop resistance to one or all of the allergens that bother you. Your body's antihistamine response time will decrease to the point where it does not activate at all or rarely activates. Many people have found that they really enjoy exposure therapy, since it allows them a much more natural and healthier alternative to medications. Talk to an allergist at a clinic like Allergy Asthma & Immunology Associates to see if he or she practices exposure therapy and if he/she recommends it for you.Share
2 March 2017
I was always very healthy throughout my childhood, but when I became a teenager, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Thankfully, I had the support of my loving family to help keep me upbeat during a time that could have led to me experiencing the depression that some do after they first learn they will have an illness for life. I am very grateful for the advice I have gotten throughout my life, so I decided to create a blog where I can share all of the advice that has helped me live a happy, healthy life, despite having a chronic illness. Since I am on a medication that suppresses my immune system, I have also studied up on many other illnesses and tips for avoiding them and treating them. I plan to post health tips for people of a variety of ages and suffering with various illnesses!