Do you find you suffer from itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion every allergy season? Perhaps you have had allergy testing and learned pollen, mold or another common allergen is causing your symptoms. Tired of suffering and want to cut your reliance on daily medication? It may be time to consider allergy shots.
What Are Allergy Shots?
Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy. The shots include tiny amounts of specific substances that trigger allergic reactions. These injections are administered on a regular basis in order to reduce your sensitivity to antigens that have historically caused you to have an allergic reaction.
The shots start with a small dose. The amount that is in each shot is gradually increased over time as you become less sensitive to the allergen.
Allergy shots can be a great alternative for many allergy sufferers. They can help people whose symptoms are typically not well controlled using over the counter or prescription medication. They are also a good option for individuals who have severe allergy problems such as asthma or frequent complications. For instance, allergies are one of the top sinus infection causes. If you suffer sinus infections regularly as a result of your allergies, allergy shots can help.
At each visit, you will be given a shot, and then observed for a period of time after your treatment. Most people tolerate allergy shots well and experience few or no side effects. In some cases, people experience allergic reactions after their shots. If you are not feeling well on a day you have an allergy shot scheduled, talk to your doctor about whether to proceed. You can also reduce the chances of a reaction by taking it easy for a few hours after your treatment. Avoiding vigorous exercise can reduce the chances of a reaction.
Do Allergy Shots Really Work?
Allergy shots do not work overnight. There may be some time between the beginning of treatment and when you begin to experience results. Allergy treatment comes in two phases: the first ramp-up up phase, where the amount of medication given is smaller. The second is the maintenance phase, where you are given shots about once a month to gradually desensitize your body.
Most people report improvement within the first year of getting allergy shots. In some cases, your doctor may be able to use a method known as “rush immunotherapy.” In this alternative, the build up phase is done more quickly, involving several injections during every visit. This method can provide relief more quickly, but it can also increase the chances of a severe allergic reaction.
How Long is the Treatment?
Allergy shot treatments typically last anywhere from three to five years. Many people report that, after a few years of treatment, they no longer have significant allergy issues. Some people are able to stop taking allergy medications altogether. In other cases, people will still suffer occasional allergy attacks, but will find their symptoms are far less severe.
Allergy shots can provide lasting relief from your symptoms. Think they could be a good option for you? Contact us today for a consultation, and we will discuss treatment.