What is in allergy shots
Allergy shots are also called Immunotherapy.
They stimulate the immune system to reply to allergens safely, effectively and naturally. A patient is given injections of little samples of a known allergen to assist them build an immunity, training the body to increase its tolerance to a variety of allergens. This treatment is typically used when a specific allergy is identified and it cannot be avoided, or medications do not provide sufficient relief. These FDA approved injections include extracts from allergens, derived from the mold, pollen, animal dander, venom or dust mites known to cause allergic reactions.
Allergy shots can assist prevent asthma and new allergies from developing
Allergy shots own been shown to assist prevent new allergies from developing.
Also, children with allergic rhinitis often go on to develop asthma and allergy shots are often effective at preventing that progression.
How endless does it take for the shots to be effective?
Most patients get maintenance allergy shots from between three and five years, although some may need treatment throughout their lifetime. While the immunity does not happen immediately, some patients do start to experience reduced symptoms early in the process.
In some patients, immunity is maintained and treatment can be stopped after a few years. For others, treatment may be needed for longer periods of time to build lasting immunity. Generally the benefits of allergy shots can final for numerous years, or even a lifetime.
With a few exceptions, allergy shots are safe for children and adults
We don’t typically recommend allergy shots for children under five because of their inability to communicate effectively about symptoms they may be experiencing.
Older adults with cardiac disease or other serious medical conditions may not be capable to get immunotherapy either, but we can determine that with a thorough medical evaluation and review of your health history and medications.
Otherwise, immunotherapy is considered a safe and often fairly effective therapy for patients of every ages.
Even women who become pregnant during their treatment course can continue with allergy shots.
How often are allergy shots istered?
There are two phases to allergy shots, build up and maintenance. During the build up, allergy shots are istered either every week or biweekly. The quantity of allergen in each dose will gradually increase with each injection.
The regular injections will continue until the maintenance level is reached. The shots are only needed every few weeks during the maintenance level. The injections are always delivered in office by a medical professional, as there is a little risk of an allergic reaction occurring.
Dr. Rahimi and his team take the utmost care to ensure the safety of their patients while pursuing this course of treatment.
When allergy shots are successful, the immune system is restored to excellent health. The patient will rely on fewer or even no medications. He or she will miss less work or school days. The burden of allergies is relieved, and the patient can live his or her life without having to worry about exposure and reactions.
Most children and adults are eligible candidates for allergy shot therapy and women who become pregnant during the course of treatment can continue through their pregnancy.
Allergy shots (immunotherapy) work differently than the medications you take to control allergy symptoms. Those medications block the substances your body produces, such as histamine, that lead to the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms caused by your allergy.
Immunotherapy essentially trains your immune system to reply normally to pollen, pet dander, and other allergens that previously caused it to overreact.
It’s this overreaction that leads to an allergic response.
Allergy shots work much love a vaccine.
As your allergist injects minute amounts of an allergen over the course of your treatment, given in gradually increasing doses over a period of months, you start to develop an immunity or tolerance to the allergen, which resolves your allergy symptoms.
It’s a somewhat lengthy therapy that takes put in two stages: the build-up phase, which requires weekly visits to the office for your injection; and the maintenance phase, which reduces your visit frequency to monthly for an injection.
Many of our patients here at Allergy Relief Clinics notice improvement in their allergy symptoms early in the treatment course, but it can take 12 months on the maintenance dose to experience lasting results.
Still, the time commitment is often well worth it for our patients who are struggling with year-round allergy symptoms or experiencing less than desired results with oral medications.
Overall, immunotherapy can offer welcome and lasting symptom relief for a wide variety of patients.