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STL MEDICAL REPORT

PRESENTED BY

“

We tailor the
treatment to the
person so they’re
getting the best
response.

“

Joshua Hentzelman, MD

SLUCare otolaryngologist (ENT)

Photo provided by SLUCare Physician Group

SLUCare offers liquid drops as an alternative to shots
By Lori Rose
Brand Ave. Studios Contributing Writer

and more focus. It’s been fantastic
for me.”

says the convenience of drops
makes the price tag well worth it.

Angela Zimmerly suffered with yearround allergies for years. She tried
allergy shots, but the inconvenience
of taking time off work to drive to her
doctor’s office twice a week became
too much.

Like Zimmerly, millions of Americans
experience allergy symptoms such
as itchy eyes, sneezing and runny
noses. Over-the-counter medications work for many, but for others
who suffer with allergies more than
two seasons a year, it makes sense
to try another line of attack, says
Dr. Joshua Hentzelman, a SLUCare
otolaryngologist (ENT) who sees
patients at the Doctors Office Building near SSM Health Saint Louis
University Hospital and at SLUCare
Otolaryngology West County at 555
N. New Ballas Road.

Dr. Hentzelman says the cost for
most of his patients works out to be
about $100 a month over the course
of treatment, which typically lasts
three to five years.

She ended up stopping the treatment and enduring constant allergy
symptoms.
“Grasses, pollens, mold, leaves,
trees, dust, mites — I’m basically
allergic to all of it,” she said. “I was
always blowing my nose, always
coughing. I couldn’t get a good
night’s sleep. It got to the point
where I was so exhausted all the time
and I had sinus infection after sinus
infection.”
That’s when she learned there was
an easier way to get relief: sublingual
allergy drops — a liquid alternative
to injections. Now, she simply places
six drops of a custom-blended allergen mixture under her tongue each
morning.
The needle-free option has been a
lifesaver, Zimmerly says. “My quality
of life has changed drastically. I’m
able to breathe and get a really good
night’s sleep so I have more energy

AN AT-HOME
TREATMENT OPTION

Like shots, allergy drops work to
desensitize a patient to the specific
allergens that cause them trouble
and help them build immunity over
time. And the best part is the drops
can be administered at home.
“It’s so easy,” Zimmerly says. “It
doesn’t taste bad. It tastes lightly
sweet. I hold three drops under my
tongue for one minute, take a small
sip of water, and then take the second
set. Then I’m off starting my day.”
Though her insurance provider
doesn’t cover the cost, Zimmerly

“If you look at the overall burden of the
problem and what people are spending on other medicines, this [treatment] can be cost-effective,” he said.
As with allergy shots, patients undergo allergy testing in the clinic
first. “We tailor the treatment to the
person so they’re getting the best
response,” Dr. Hentzelman says. For
instance, if a patient has reactions
to ragweed, mold and cat dander,
allergy shots or drops will be custom
blended for those specific allergens.
The possibility of an adverse reaction to the allergens is lower in drops
than in shots, Dr. Hentzelman says.
Still, the first couple of doses are
administered in the office so that
patients can be monitored.
Zimmerly still goes in for her annual checkup, but throughout the
remainder of the year, the SLUCare
staff mails the drops directly to her,
adjusting the mixture as the seasons
change for optimal coverage.

For more information about Dr. Hentzelman and other SLUCare ear, nose and throat specialists treating allergies, go to slucare.edu/ent-allergy.

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