Home/Allergy Shots

Allergy Shots – Immunotherapy


Allergy Shots Explained


Allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy, are a form of treatment for individuals with allergic conditions. The purpose of allergy shots is to desensitize the immune system to specific allergens, reducing or eliminating allergic reactions. Here’s how allergy shots typically work:

  1. Identification of Allergens: Before starting allergy shots, an allergist performs tests to identify the specific allergens triggering the patient’s allergic reactions. Common allergens include pollen, pet dander (including cat and dog), dust mite, mold spores, and insect venom.
  2. Customized Treatment: Based on the identified allergens, a customized treatment plan is developed for the individual. The allergist determines the appropriate allergen extracts and concentrations for the allergy shots.
  3. Administration of Shots: The patient receives regular injections of small amounts of the identified allergens under the skin. Initially, the frequency of shots is higher (usually once or twice a week), and then it decreases over time.
  4. Build-up Phase: The initial phase of allergy shots, known as the build-up phase, involves gradually increasing the dose of allergens with each shot. This phase typically lasts several months.
  5. Maintenance Phase: Once the effective dose is reached, the patient enters the maintenance phase. During this phase, the frequency of shots is reduced to once a month or less, but the treatment continues for an extended period, often several years.

The goal of allergy shots is to modify the immune system’s response to allergens, leading to a decrease in the severity of allergic reactions over time. It can be an effective treatment for various allergic conditions, including hay fever (allergic rhinitis), allergic asthma, and stinging insect allergies.

It’s important to note that allergy shots are not suitable for everyone, and the decision to pursue this form of treatment should be made in consultation with an allergist or immunologist. The treatment may not provide immediate relief, and the effectiveness can vary among individuals. Additionally, there are risks and potential side effects, so careful monitoring by a healthcare professional is essential during the course of treatment.

FAQ



  • What are allergy shots?
What are allergy shots?

Allergy shots, or allergen immunotherapy, are a form of treatment for allergic conditions. They involve administering small, gradually increasing amounts of allergens to desensitize the immune system.


  • Who can benefit from allergy shots?
Who can benefit from allergy shots?

Allergy shots are typically recommended for individuals with allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic asthma, and insect sting allergies. They may be considered when symptoms are not well-controlled with medications or when avoiding allergens is challenging.


  • How are allergens identified for the shots?
How are allergens identified for the shots?

Allergists perform allergy tests to identify specific allergens triggering an individual’s allergic reactions. Common allergens include pollen, pet dander (including cat and dog), dust mite, mold spores, and insect venom.


  • How are allergy shots administered?
How are allergy shots administered?

Allergy shots are given as injections, usually in the upper arm. The treatment starts with a build-up phase, where the dose of allergens is gradually increased, followed by a maintenance phase with less frequent injections.


  • How long does the treatment last?
How long does the treatment last?

The duration of allergy shot treatment varies but often spans several years. The build-up phase may last a few months, and the maintenance phase can continue for three to five years or longer.


  • Do allergy shots work for everyone?
Do allergy shots work for everyone?

The effectiveness of allergy shots can vary among individuals. While many people experience significant improvement in symptoms, it may not work for everyone. Success depends on factors such as the specific allergens involved and the individual’s response to the treatment.


DMV_logo_final

Join our Mailing List for Exciting New Updates!

Copyright DMV Allergy & Asthma Center 2024. All rights reserved.