What Are Allergy Shots?
Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy that involve injecting a small needle into your skin to treat allergies. This treatment is done in a clinical setting and is the most common and effective option for allergies.
During allergy shots, you will receive increasing doses of the allergen over time, which helps your immune system become less sensitive to the allergen. This process is called desensitization, and it allows your body to handle exposure to pollen or other allergens without experiencing bothersome symptoms.
Overall, allergy shots can greatly improve your quality of life if you suffer from allergies.
Am I a Good Candidate for Allergy Shots?
How Do Allergy Shots Work?
Similar to allergy drops, allergy shots can effectively reduce allergic response by enhancing tolerance to a specific antigen or antigens. This treatment can be compared to vaccines, where small doses of the antigen are administered gradually to the immune system through injection. As the exposure increases incrementally, the immune system builds tolerance and reduces the allergic response.
During the build-up phase of allergy shot treatment, patients may need to receive injections at least once a week for six months or longer. The purpose of this phase is to gradually increase the dose of the allergen and build up the patient’s tolerance.
After completing the build-up phase, patients enter the maintenance phase where they receive monthly injections for three to five years. The duration of this phase can vary based on the patient’s individual progress. Once symptoms have improved, patients may modify their treatment plan accordingly.
When Should I Expect to See Results from Allergy Shots?
Are There Any Risks and Side Effects of Allergy Shots?
There are some risks associated with getting allergy shots. The most common side effect is redness, swelling, or itching at the site of the injection. Other potential side effects include hives, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and anaphylaxis (a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction).
It’s important to note that these side effects are rare, but they can happen. That’s why allergy shots should only be administered in a clinical setting under the supervision of our experienced allergy team. They can monitor your reactions and provide immediate treatment if necessary.
Before starting allergy shots, your provider will evaluate your medical history and conduct a physical exam to ensure that you are a good candidate for this treatment.
If you have concerns about the risks or benefits of allergy shots, you should talk to your provider to determine if this treatment is right for you.