Asthma, allergic rhinitis (AR) and atopic dermatitis are very common in young people, but in the latest decades it was increasingly recognized that also individuals of higher ages, including the population over 65 years, are concerned. Actually, it is now acknowledged the aging does not considerably alter the immune response to allergens. Allergen immunotherapy (AIT) is the only treatment that works on the causes of allergy, but elderly people are commonly excluded from AIT, except the cases of insect sting allergy. A number of recent studies showed that aged individuals also successfully respond to AIT for respiratory allergy. Therefore, there is no reason to exclude elder patients from AIT. Anyhow, clinical conditions that are considered absolute or relative contraindications are quite frequent in this aged population, thus the risk/benefit ratio must be carefully evaluated for each patient, taking into account that the more frequent occurrence of co-morbidities and the consequent need of daily-based multidrug regimen can favor adverse effects. An important issue concern the ability of AIT, and particularly of sublingual immunotherapy, to significantly improve the quality of life, that often is particularly impaired in the elderly, reducing symptoms and drugs consumption.
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