Clinic offers alternative to annual allergy shot

LAWRENCEVILLE — Allergy sufferers probably don't need a reminder, but May is Allergy Awareness Month, and a local medical facility is offering a solution to all those who suffer but don't want to deal with needles.

NextCare Urgent Care on Sugarloaf Parkway has introduced a system of medicated drops that reduces the need for injections.

Shannon Sowby, a spokeswoman for NextCare, said only 20 percent of those victimized by allergies seek medical attention. They're looking to change that by their new program.

"The drops treat the allergy symptoms but also start retraining the immune system," Sowby said. "Not only are injections avoided, but patients save time in that they can use the drops whenever is convenient."

After a quick allergy test (also injectionless), patients receive a prescription for the take-at-home drops. Sowby said that patients typically have relief within the first few months of treatment, and can experience longer-lasting relief.

Dr. Tina A. Thompson, on the staff at Emory Eastside Medical Center, said the simplest, if not easiest, way to treat symptoms is to avoid the allergen.

"If it's necessary for you to be outside, choose a day after rain has fallen and take a shower as soon as you can to rinse off the pollen," Thompson said.

Pollen has been at near-record highs in the Atlanta area this spring.