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Can Everyone Get Allergy Shots?

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 respond 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 like 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 begin to develop an immunity or tolerance to the allergen, which resolves your allergy symptoms.

It’s a somewhat lengthy therapy that takes place 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.

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 able to receive 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 quite effective therapy for patients of all ages. Even women who become pregnant during their treatment course can continue with allergy shots.

Allergy shots can help prevent asthma and new allergies from developing

Allergy shots have been shown to help 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.

Allergy shots address nearly all common allergic responses

Though they aren’t used for food allergies, we often recommend allergy shots for:

Immunotherapy is especially beneficial for patients who experience year-round symptoms associated with indoor allergies. You can stay inside when pollen counts are high, but it’s sometimes difficult to avoid dust, pet dander, and other indoor triggers.

And for allergy sufferers who are tired of spending every spring, summer, or fall indoors hiding from pollen and stinging insects, immunotherapy can provide freedom to enjoy the seasons as it decreases your long-term medication use.

Schedule an evaluation today at Allergy Relief Clinics to discover if allergy shots are right for you.

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