ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Good news for people with life-threatening food allergies. Patients being treated for food allergies have the option of oral immunotherapy in Albuquerque.
“Our journey began when she was about 18 months old. I did something with cashews and she got a small rash on her face and we think that’s probably not right, ”said Jamie Eads, mother of an Aspire program patient.
Eads took her daughter to an allergy and sinus clinic for diagnosis and treatment. OIT is the process of retraining the immune system to recognize the proteins as benign. Patients are exposed to the problem food in small quantities. Previously, patients often had to travel out of state to seek treatment.
Aspire Allergy & Sinus Clinic is now offering treatments in Albuquerque.
“The first time you visit, they’re here for about six to eight hours and we slowly increase that dose and then they come back every week and we slightly increase the dose that they’ll be eating every day for the next week. “Said Dr. Richard Wachs, Medical Director at Aspire Allergy & Sinus.
After treatments are complete, patients continue to take a daily dose and routine checkups to track their progress. Experts say that oral immunotherapy comes with risks. “They feed the food they are allergic to, there is a risk of a reaction, so we do it very carefully and very slowly, but the risk is there,” says Dr. Wax.
Eads says it’s worth the risk. “It opened back doors that we thought were closed. We can eat out in different restaurants that we want, we can experience different things together that we thought were off the table, ”said Eads.
Aspire Allergy & Sinus offers more than just OIT. There are other treatments that reduce the risk of exposure to foods they shouldn’t be eating, which means they won’t have the same allergic reaction. Currently the location for this type of treatment is in Albuquerque, but Aspire says they could expand to Santa Fe and other parts of the state.