Onalaska, Wis. (PRWEB) June 18, 2014
Having patients willing to travel across the country for your expertise is a great compliment for most providers. But for La Crosse-area allergist, Dr. David Morris, it was also a great frustration. The frustration stemmed, in part, from patient need to travel far to find a provider with expertise in sublingual immunotherapy for allergies, often requiring patients to travel for several hours to receive help for their often-times complex allergic conditions. For many patients, travel wasn’t an option.
For decades, Dr. David Morris refined and advocated the use of sublingual immunotherapy to treat the cause of allergies. The technique, often called allergy drops, uses the same FDA-approved liquid allergenic extracts as those used in allergy shots, but sublingual extracts are delivered via drops placed under the tongue and are considered an off-label use of an FDA-approved extract. Though commonly used in Europe and elsewhere internationally, sublingual immunotherapy has gained attention in the United States thanks, in part, to Morris and his partners who are recognized as pioneers for developing one of the only published protocols for the treatment in the U.S. Morris’s practice, Allergy Associates of La Crosse, developed the protocol over nearly 45 years of clinical experience. Providers from the practice have been involved in research that has encouraged a renewed look at a treatment that has had limited use in the U.S. since the early 1900s.
In 2000, Morris became determined to find a way to help more allergy sufferers receive sublingual immunotherapy closer to home. Dr. David Morris and practice partner and daughter, Dr. Mary Morris, and her husband Jim Killoran, developed an organization focused on educating providers. The company, called Allergychoices (http://www.allergychoices.com), began providing sublingual immunotherapy training sessions and outreach to allergy specialists interested in using the Morris protocol within their own practices to diagnose and treat patients using sublingual immunotherapy. That protocol, The La Crosse Method Protocol, is used by hundreds of allergy specialists and providers across the U.S. Dr. Mary Morris continues to lead the charge her father, now retired, began to help more patients benefit.
Dr. Mary Morris and her physician partners at Allergy Associates of La Crosse will serve as faculty at a medical conference on August 8-9, 2014 in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Sponsored by Allergychoices (http://www.allergychoices.com), the program Advancing Allergy Treatment through Sublingual Immunotherapy, will focus on the latest research, scientific updates and treatment methods in sublingual immunotherapy, which has gained exceptional attention in recent months the FDA’s recent approval of single-antigen sublingual tablet products aimed at treating seasonal allergies.
“We’re happy to see that the sublingual route of treatment has finally received acceptance as a safe, effective first-line therapy to treat allergic rhinitis and asthma,” notes Dr. Mary Morris. “But because only a segment of the population is indicated for these products, we continue to focus on the broader range of patients whose allergic needs go beyond what the new products are intended for. The La Crosse Method provides options for those who not only suffer from seasonal allergies, but also suffer from the broader range of allergy that manifest in other allergic diseases.
“There are a number of things about sublingual immunotherapy that are exciting,” says Dr. Mary Morris. “First, it has been proven safe for a large population of patients with a broad range of allergies. For those who haven’t been candidates for injection immunotherapy—especially young children and asthmatics, as well as those who can’t tolerate shots—it offers hope. Second, research is showing what our clinical experience has told us for years—sublingual immunotherapy could provide an effective way of treating a number of allergies that have been thought untreatable, including food allergies. Currently, the only accepted treatment option is avoidance.”
“We’re here to share what we’ve learned with other physicians so access to patient-specific sublingual immunotherapy no longer requires patients to travel across the country for help,” adds Morris. Hundreds of allergists and their medical staff trained in La Crosse now offer the treatment in their clinics across the country in private practices, university medical centers, and branches of the U.S. military.
For details about the conference or treatment, visit http://www.allergychoices.com/edprogram or contact Anne Hendrickson at Allergychoices at 608.793.1580