What are Allergies?

Tree with pollenAllergies are a common chronic disorder that affect about 50 million Americans. They afflict people of all ages, often beginning in childhood or young adult years. They can be seasonal or perennial (year-round), depending on the offending allergens.

How are Allergies Treated?

Many allergy sufferers self-medicate such with over-the-counter medications such as antihistamine pills or decongestants. While these can be helpful for some, they may not adequately treat a patient's specific symptoms. Prescription medications, such as nasal sprays and eye drops, can be useful for many who have persistent symptoms.

Why Allergy Testing?

It can be useful to know what you are allergic to in order to decrease exposure through avoidance and environmental modification. Allergy skin testing is a quick and painless way to determine which allergens you might be sensitive to. These results can also be used to specifically treat those offending allergens with immunotherapy.

What is Immunotherapy?

Immunotherapy, or allergy desensitization, is a treatment in which patients are exposed to their most significant allergens in order to desensitize their immune system to those allergens. Rather than treat the symptoms with medications, immunotherapy actually eliminates the underlying allergy. Increasing doses of the allergen are administered over time to induce tolerance. Typical treatment length is three to five years, and immunity is usually maintained for several more years.

Subcutaneous Immunotherapy

Traditional allergy shots induce the immune system to fight allergies safely, effectively, and naturally. Beginning with small doses and increasing gradually on a weekly basis, the therapy continues until a maintenance level is achieved. The maintenance dose is then injected on a less frequent basis. This therapy is usually covered by insurance.

Sublingual Immunotherapy

Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is a newer method for treating allergies where drops of the allergen solution are placed under the tongue daily. They have been shown to be as effective as shots, but without the needles. They are also safer than shots, allowing the drops to be given at home without having to come to the clinic. While SLIT is not FDA-approved (off-label) and, therefore, not covered by insurance, the cost is reasonable and preferred by many patients.

Jeremiah Alt, MD, PhD

Patient Rating:


4.9 out of 5

Dr. Alt’s clinical practice is focused on sinus and nasal diseases including management of acute and chronic sinusitis, polyps, allergy, septal deviation, growths and tumors of the sinuses and skull base, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaks. Dr. Alt works with a large multi-disciplinary team that consists of neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, head ... Read More

Kelly McGuire Trythall, PA-C

Patient Rating:


4.7 out of 5

Ms. McGuire is originally from a small town in southern Indiana. Her undergraduate training was completed at Purdue University where she received a bachelor’s degree in health science. She then received a master’s in medical science for her physician assistant studies from Midwestern University in Arizona. Prior to moving to Utah, Ms. McGuire li... Read More


Allergy, General Otolaryngology ENT, Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery, Otology, Physician Assistant


Redstone Health Center 801-587-8368
University Hospital
Otolaryngology/ENT, Clinic 9

Loida Viera-Hutchins, MD

Patient Rating:


4.6 out of 5

Dr. Viera-Hutchins received her medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine, completed her Internal Medicine Residency at Yale New-Haven Hospital, and her fellowship training in Adult and Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at University of California Los Angeles. She worked in private practice in Allergy and Immunology for 3 years follow... Read More

University of Utah Hospital
Clinic 9
50 N Medical Drive
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
South Jordan Health Center 5126 W. Daybreak Parkway
South Jordan, UT 84009