RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Allergy season is underway in Richmond, and finally there's new hope for patients especially sensitive to grass pollen. Grastek was just approved by the FDA on April 14, and it arrived at Richmond Allergy & Asthma Specialists in the West End today.
"It's nice to have a different approach to just allergy shots to make a person less allergic," says Dr. William Hark. He explains that Grastek doesn't mask symptoms like medications do. Instead, it works like a shot and lessens the allergy with other benefits.
"You don't get the side effects like you do with medications. They don't make people sleepy, keep you up at night," Dr. Hark says. "You take one tablet a day, you put it on your tongue and let it dissolve."
Grastek is allergen specific and only treats a sensitivity to grass. While it won't offer complete relief to patients who have several allergies, they still see it as a step in the right direction.
"Sneezing, watery, itchy eyes," says patient Erika Mitchell as she describes her symptoms every Spring. "Especially in the morning, I can't put my windows down. It's really bad out. It's good to know there's new stuff out there on the market."
Dr. Hark is starting to identify patients suited for Grastek and says a similar therapy will soon hit the market for ragweed, Fall's big allergen.
If you are suffering from allergies, he recommends starting with over-the-counter treatments. Make an appointment with your allergy doctor if you don't start to feel better because there are a lot of options out there.
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