About Allergy Shots
What are allergy shots?
Allergen immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, is a series of injections that contains a minimal amount of the specific substance or substances that are triggering an allergic reaction. The shots contain just enough allergens to stimulate the immune system without causing a full-blown allergic reaction.
Overtime, we will increase the dose of allergens in each shot to continue to build your immune system against them. By desensitizing your body to specific allergens, your immune system builds a tolerance for those allergens. Essentially allergy shots diminish your symptoms to specific allergens over time. They do not cure allergies but they do lessen the symptoms.
Am I the right candidate for allergy shots?
You may want to consider allergy shots if you’re experiencing any of these:
- Allergy induced asthma
- If you have a history of chronic sinusitis
- Experiencing allergies for longer than three months out of the year
- Allergy medications aren’t helping your symptoms and you just can’t avoid the things causing your allergic reactions
- Allergy medications are interacting with other medications causing bothersome side effects
- You want to reduce your long-term need for allergy medications
- You’re allergic to insect stings
- Allergic to animals and want to keep a pet
If you’re not sure if you are a right-fit candidate, come into our office and we will do some testing!
What you can expect
Allergy shots are typically injected in the upper arm. In order for the allergy shots to be effective, there are two phases.
- The buildup phase – three to six months. Shots are typically given one to two times a week with the dosage of the allergen increasing over time.
- The maintenance phase – three to five years. Maintenance shots are given about two to four weeks apart.
Allergies will not stop overnight. Allergy symptoms will continue to improve during the first year of treatment but improvement is most noticeable with in the second year of treatment. By the third year of treatment, most people no longer experience symptoms and desensitized to allergies.