Now, there's long-term control of allergic asthma

Now, there's long-term control of allergic asthmaWashington, Oct 1 - When children suffer from allergies and asthma induced by dust mites, finding relief seems an uphill task. Researchers now claim that three years of allergy shots would offer long-term control of allergic asthma.

Allergic children react to proteins within the bodies and faeces of the mites. These particles are found mostly in pillows, mattresses, carpeting, stuffed animals and upholstered furniture. Researchers say there may be as many as 19,000 dust mites in one gram of dust!

"The recommended duration of immunotherapy for long-term effectiveness has been three to five years," said Iwona Stelmach, from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), who led the study.

"Our research shows that three years is an adequate duration for the treatment of childhood asthma associated with house dust mites. An additional two years adds no clinical benefit," adds Stelmach, quoted in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, can alter the progression of allergic disease. The treatment eases patients of symptoms, while preventing asthma and the development of other allergies, according to an ACAAI statement.

The study found that 50 percent of children with asthma due to dust mites experienced remission after three years of treatment, with greatly reduced or no controller medications needed at that point.

"It has long been observed that the effectiveness of allergy shots continues long after treatment has been completed," said allergist James Sublett, who holds the chair of the ACAAI Indoor Environment Committee.

"This study is among the first to look at the benefits of different lengths of therapy. Not only does it provide long-term therapeutic benefits for both children and adults, it can reduce total healthcare costs by 33 to 41 percent."(IANS)