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Dr Andrew Baker - Immunologist and Allergy Specialist - North Shore Auckland

Private Service, Allergy and Immunology, Internal Medicine

Patient Information - Desensitisation for Dust Mite, Grass, Cat, Dog Allergies for Rhinitis Hay fever Asthma

Dr Andrew Baker MBChB FRACP Auckland Immunologist Allergist (Allergy Specialist Doctor).

At our clinic in Takapuna, North Shore, Auckland we provide desensitisation treatment for dust mite allergy, grass allergy, tree pollen allergy, cat and dog allergy and plantain (a weed).  These are the most common hay fever rhinitis and asthma allergies in Auckland. 

Desensitisation is an excellent treatment for allergic rhinitis or rhinoconjunctivitis (hay fever), and asthma.  Dust mite desensitisation treatment has benefit for some selected patients with eczema as well.  Desensitisation is a common treatment in hospitals and private medical clinics in Europe and the United States.  It is funded by the public health system in many parts of Europe.

Desensitisation involves giving you an increasing amount of a substance you are allergic too.  Done in specific ways/doses, this makes the immune system become tolerant to it, so that you become more tolerant / less reactive.  Skin testing and an accurate review of your symptoms is essential first to definitively diagnose the allergen.  

We prescribe both sublingual desensitisation (tablets/sprays under the tongue) and allergoid subcutaneous desensitisation (small injections under the skin).  

Our subcutaneous allergoid version is an injection once monthly for three years.  Recent advances in the treatment mean the injections are monthly from the start, so do not require the initial weekly injections that previous protocols needed.

Our sublingual versions are Actair, Oralair and Oraltek, and involve sprays or tablets under the tongue, daily for three years, and these courses are taken at home, except for an initial supervised first dose at our clinic.

The benefit of desensitisation treatment for hay fever rhinitis and asthma allergies is that the improvements when the course finishes are often long term.  It is the only treatment that offers the possibility of long term remission of your symptoms.

Simone Stephens, our specialist nurse, is involved with setting national standards on desensitisation and her extensive experience is an invaluable asset. 

For long term treatment of significant allergy, desensitisation is the treatment of choice.

A 2013 analysis by the US Department of Health examined all the evidence for desensitisation to dust mite, grass, cat and dog hair, for asthma and hay fever (rhinitis).  The conclusion was there is very clear scientific evidence from multiple studies that desensitisation gives significant benefit in improving asthma, hay fever, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis as well as quality of life.  Click here to find out more about the scientific evidence for desensitisation in asthma and hayfever.

Desensitisation has costs for the product and for any appointments needed.  Some aspects can be covered by health insurance, but often the products themselves you would need to pay for.  For more information about desensitisation, (costs and other practical aspects) you can email me on: andrew.baker@waitemataallergy.co.nz

For bee and wasp desensitisation, we are now diagnosing the allergy with testing, providing you with an emergency management action plan, but for desensitisation we will refer to ADHB Immunology at Auckland City Hospital.  We provide you management plans for large local reactions as well.

Click here for more information about our north shore auckland hay fever and asthma densensitisation clinic.

This page was last updated at 1:09PM on September 7, 2021.