FDA advisory committees have recommended approval for three sublingual immunotherapies against grass (Grastek, Oralair) and ragweed (Ragwitek), with approval expected as early as April. Instead of shots and trips to the doctor, sublingual immunotherapy offers a daily pill under the tongue to desensitize patients to allergens such as pollen, dust mites and pets. There are tradeoffs with each strategy, so it is not clear how widely sublingual immunotherapy will be adopted. Harold Nelson, MD, has led several immunotherapy trials and is one of the world's leading experts on allergen immunotherapy.
Global warming has already lengthened and intensified the pollen season and could lead to much worse allergies in the future. Richard Weber, MD, suspects the cases of adult onset hay fever he has seen recently could be caused by growing exposure to allergens.
Download our infographic on global warming and spring allergies.