Allergen immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that does more than relieve allergy symptoms; it gradually reduces the effects of allergies by targeting the cause of the condition.
Who can benefit from immunotherapy?
Allergy shots decrease symptoms for many people with allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, asthma with a strong allergic component, and insect-sting allergy. Allergy shots are not used to treat food allergies. When considering immunotherapy as a treatment option, it’s essential to have a conversation with your allergist/immunologist.
You and your physician should discuss:
- The length of your allergy season and the severity of your symptoms
- Whether medications and/or environmental controls are helping your allergy symptoms become manageable
- The pros and cons of using medication long term
- The time you’re willing to dedicate to treatment
How Immunotherapy Works
An allergy is a condition where the immune system overreacts or acts abnormally to various stimuli. Immunotherapy helps the body resist these reactions. By exposing your immune system to increasingly large doses of your body’s least favorite allergen, it becomes easier for your body to recognize the difference between the allergen and an actual health hazard. Not only is it effective, but immunotherapy has also been proven safe and reduces the frequency and intensity of allergy attacks.
- Drops are better for those who can’t commit to frequent clinic visits
- They are placed under the tongue three times a day
- They are just as effective as shots
After undergoing treatment, you’ll be asked to stay at least 30 minutes in your physician’s office. This is because most serious reactions develop within 30 minutes of the allergy injections. Be mindful of changes in your body and reactions, as this will help your provider better understand your allergies and the most successful allergen treatment.