Mother/Daughter Immunotherapy

“During the spring and fall, I was always nauseous from sinus drainage. My eyes were red. I had lung problems that were sort of asthma-like.” That’s how Beth of Bondurant, Iowa, described her seasonal allergy symptoms.

Beth wasn’t the only one in her family battling allergies. Her daughter, Addison, dealt with allergy-related problems for years, including frequent sinus infections. Things were so bad that when Addison was four years old, she was hospitalized with orbital cellulitis—an infection of the fat and muscles around the eye. This condition was caused by scarring from allergy-related sinus infections.

Young girl with swollen eyes from allergies
Four-year-old Addison with an allergy-related eye infection

The pair struggled to find solutions for their severe allergies for years. Then they found Iowa ENT Center.

Allergy Testing

After an initial consultation with Iowa ENT Center’s Dr. Tim Simplot, Beth and Addison started their allergy journey with allergy testing. Testing consists of scratching the surface of the skin with a small comb containing many potential allergens (such as pet dander, molds, and pollens). In as little as 15 minutes, the test reveals results. If positive for a specific allergen, the skin will display an itchy, reddish bump in the scratched area.

“My test showed I was allergic to animals, including horses, dogs, and mice, as well as seasonal things—ragweed, sagebrush, and basically every tree,” Beth said. “Addison’s was similar. She was allergic to animals and seasonal things like grass and trees. The grass was especially a problem for her during softball season.”

Immunotherapy for Allergies

Based on the test results, Dr. Simplot recommended immunotherapy. Immunotherapy involves incrementally increasing exposure to an allergen via injections or liquid drops. Over time, the immune system becomes desensitized to the allergen, reducing the severity of the allergic reaction—or even eliminating the allergic reaction altogether.

Some immunotherapy patients notice improvement of symptoms within several weeks of treatment, with more significant relief happening within six to eight months. The full immunotherapy treatment plan generally ranges from three to five years.

“The success rate of immunotherapy is very high, with up to 85 percent of patients reporting their allergy symptoms are either eliminated or significantly reduced,” said Dr. Simplot.

Immunotherapy is also convenient. After an initial treatment at Iowa ENT Center, Beth and Addison began administering their immunotherapy treatments at home. The mother and daughter duo follow up with Dr. Simplot a few times per year at Iowa ENT Center.

Immunotherapy Results

Both are thrilled with the results. “Neither Addison nor I have had to go to the doctor for feeling bad due to allergies since we started the immunotherapy regimens,” Beth said. “Addison can also be around dogs now, which is great because she’s such a pet lover!”

Mother and daughter standing together and smiling on a beach
Addison and Beth breathe much easier now

Beth no longer takes her costly allergy pills, and Addison is nearly weaned from hers. Both are breathing easily, even amid the high-pollen spring air.

Would they recommend immunotherapy? “Definitely!” emphasized Beth.

How to Get Started

Most insurance plans cover allergy testing, medications, and immunotherapy options. Allergy testing and immunotherapy are available at Iowa ENT Center’s West Des Moines and Ankeny locations. For an initial allergy consultation, call us at 515-223-4368 or request an appointment online.

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