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Jacksonville ENT Surgery adds an alternative to allergy shots to its treatment methods
Sublingual immunotherapy eliminates the need for weekly allergy shots
Jacksonville, Fla., July 5, 2017 – Jacksonville ENT Surgery has added a new treatment method that will eliminate the need for weekly shots for some allergy sufferers. The alternative technique is called sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT and is used to treat inhalant allergies, which include grasses, trees, plants, molds and environmental allergens. Jacksonville ENT Surgery is unique in its offering of this treatment. Instead of a shot, a drop that contains a very small amount of the allergen is placed under the patient’s tongue and allowed to dissolve. As the process is repeated over time, the patient will build up a tolerance to the allergen.
Dr. Jerry Sugar, a physician with Jacksonville ENT Surgery and leader in the field of otolaryngology, is a big proponent of SLIT and has been using it himself for the last four years. When he joined the practice earlier this year, Sugar began offering the alternative treatment to Jacksonville ENT patients. The first dose is given in the doctor’s office, but the subsequent doses can be administered by the patient at home.
“The SLIT method can work as well or sometimes even better than an allergy shot and as a doctor and a patient, I have seen it from both sides,” said Sugar. “I started using SLIT to treat my own allergies when I was living in Connecticut. When I moved to Ponte Vedra, my allergy symptoms became much worse due to the different allergens in Florida compared to the Northeast. I found I was very allergic to many of the local trees, grasses, molds and environmental allergens. Within three months of starting the SLIT treatment here to treat my local allergies, I noticed a marked improvement.”
Sugar said the potential for reactions to the drops is far less than allergy shots and patients don’t have to come into the office every week to treat their allergies. He said in addition to the convenience, it can also be more affordable. Allergy drops are almost always less expensive than an allergy shot and there are fewer office visits, which means fewer copays or fees.
The goal of the allergy drops is to treat the long-term tolerance to allergens. Treatment is customized to a patient’s allergy test results to ensure they receive just the right dose to be effective without increased risk of reactions. Sugar said most patients who start SLIT will begin feeling better within a few months.
Jacksonville ENT Welcomes Dr. Sugar
Jerry Sugar, MD was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburb of Park Forest, Illinois. He went to the University of Illinois for his undergraduate degree. While at the University of Illinois he was a James Scholar and received a research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Dr. Sugar graduated from the University of Illinois Medical School in Chicago. He continued his research into the Inner Ear during Medical School including a research Fellowship in Upsala Sweden.
General Surgery training was done at Northwestern University. Dr. Sugar did his Ear Nose and Throat Residency at Harvard Medical School. While at Harvard he was appointed a Fellow in Otolaryngology. The University of Pennsylvania Medical School was Dr. Sugar’s first position after Residency. He was an Assignment Professor of Otolaryngology. Private practice then followed in Taerbury Ct for over 30 years. Dr. Sugar taught General Surgery Residents Head and Neck Surgery. He received the best Teacher Award given by the residents numerous times. His passion for patient care was Recognized on a local and National Level. He received Best ENT doctor designation continuously for over 20 years. Dr. Sugar has lectured extensively on Thyroid Cancer.
Dr. Sugar was the President of the Connecticut Ear Nose and Throat Society. He also served as Chief of Staff of Saint Mary’s Hospital as well as spending many years as a Trustee of the Hospital. Numerous other volunteer efforts were done locally, nationally and internationally.
Dr. Sugar and his wife Kathie moved to the Jacksonville area in 2016. They have two grown daughters, as beautiful Granddaughter who is two and two Standard Poodles. Golf is Dr. Sugar’s passion as well as walking the lovely beaches in our area. Biking on the beach as well as on the road with his wife is their favorite joint past time.
Outstanding patient care has always been the most important to Dr. Sugar. Compassionate, personalized patient care is his focus. Each person is unique in their Ear Nose and Throat problems and is treated with the most up to date methods in a caring environment.