When the medications fail to control the allergy symptoms adequately and avoidance of trigger isn’t possible or easy, the best allergist might recommend allergy shots or immunotherapy. This treatment is consisted of a series of injections that contains a small amount of substances to which an individual is allergic. After some allergy shots, eighty to ninety percent of the patients have less allergy symptoms and in numerous cases, their allergies have resolved completely. Allergy shots may be given for allergic asthma, insect sting allergies, and allergic rhino-conjunctivitis.
Allergy Shots – Are They Experimental Therapies?
The answer is no. Allergy shot have been provided for 100 years and these are FDA approved therapies. Many well-designed medical studies show allergy shots’ efficacy. Allergy shots also don’t contain steroids, which are known for their side effects.
How Allergy Shots Work?
When compared to allergy medicines that act only to cover up allergic symptoms and prevent these temporarily, allergy shots fix the underlying issues of allergies. This happens because the body treats the injection much like vaccines that result in the production of infection-fighting antibodies against the dust, pollen, pet dander or mold. Then, the body stops producing allergic antibodies against the trigger and therefore will not have as much any allergic response once exposed to allergens. Such changes may last for a lot of years even after getting rid of allergy shots. According to recent studies, allergy shots may also prevent individuals from developing some new allergies and lessen the risk of developing asthma in kids with nasal allergies.
Allergy Shots – How Are These Provided?
The immunotherapy method consists of starting at small dosage that won’t cause an allergic reaction with advancing slowly the dosage until an individual becomes tolerant to big amounts of the extract. Such injections are given initially once to twice every week until maintenance or constant dosage is achieved. Usually, this takes approximately three to six months. When the maintenance dosage is achieved, allergic symptoms are resolved largely in majority of patients. The injections are provided every 2-4 weeks.
How Long Should You Take Allergy Shots?
Therapy should be continued for 3-5 years total after which patients continue to get benefit for another 5-10 years or longer, even after the allergy shots are stopped. Once these allergy shots are stopped prior to a total of three years, allergic symptoms return more quickly usually.
Do Allergy Shots Have Risks?
The risks of allergy shots include the possibility of experiencing allergic reaction to allergy shots. Majority of allergic reactions ranges from mild to moderate itching and swelling at the area of injection. Such reactions happen frequently, yet rarely need any change in the treatment. A big swelling could require an adjustment of the dosage of allergy shots.
Some patients also experience whole body allergic reactions called anaphylaxis. Majority of such reactions are mild and involve itching of the skin, runny nose or hives. Some are more severe and may present as chest tightness, cough, throat tightness, shock, wheezing, and so on.