Allergy Shots: Could They Help Your Allergies?
Allergy shots can relieve symptoms for people with chronic allergies including mold and pollen from grasses, ragweed and trees. Board-certified allergist Dr. Piniella, MD provides a wide range of allergies testing and treatment for patients of all ages. Visit Piniella Asthma + Allergy today to get specialized and expert care. For more information, contact us today or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in Coral Gables, FL and Palmetto Bay, FL.
Table of Contents:
What kind of allergies can be treated with allergy shots?
Why should I get allergy shots?
Can everyone get allergy shots?
How many shots do I have to get?
What are some things to consider before getting allergy shots?
Allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy, are an effective treatment for various allergic conditions. They are commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, which is caused by pollen, dust mites, animal dander, or mold. Additionally, allergy shots can be used to manage allergic asthma triggered by environmental allergens. These shots work by gradually exposing the immune system to small amounts of allergens to help the body build tolerance. While allergy shots are most commonly used for respiratory allergies, they can also provide relief for insect sting reactions.
Opting for allergy shots offers numerous benefits for those struggling with respiratory allergies. These shots can significantly improve your quality of life by:
• Providing long-term relief – Allergy shots address the underlying cause of your discomfort to provide long-lasting relief beyond symptom management.
• Reducing medication dependence – By desensitizing your immune system to allergens, you will likely require fewer allergy medications, which minimizes potential side effects.
• Preventing progression – Allergy shots can prevent the progression of allergic rhinitis to asthma.
• Improving daily activities – With reduced symptoms, you can enjoy outdoor activities, social interactions, and restful sleep without disruption.
• Providing a natural approach – Allergy shots work by targeting your body’s immune system. This creates a natural way to address your allergies.
• Offering a cost-effective approach – Over time, allergy shots are much more cost-effective compared to ongoing medication expenses.
While allergen immunotherapy shots are highly effective, they may not be suitable for everyone. Some of the factors influencing eligibility include:
• Allergen type – The specific allergens triggering your reactions will determine whether allergy shots are a viable option for treatment.
• Age – Allergy shots are recommended for those aged 5 and older, as it’s essential to be able to accurately communicate potential reactions.
• Health status – Certain medical conditions, such as severe heart or lung diseases, can limit eligibility due to increased risks.
• Medications – Some medications, including beta-blockers, can interfere with allergy shots.
• Pregnancy – Allergy shots aren’t usually recommended during pregnancy, but they can be continued if you’re already undergoing treatment.
Ultimately, an allergist can determine if you’re a suitable candidate for allergen immunotherapy shots. Our experts will assess your medical status, allergies, and other eligibility criteria to decide whether this is the most effective treatment plan for your needs.
Typically, there are two phases to allergy shot treatment:
• Build-up phase – During this initial phase, shots are administered quite frequently, usually 1 to 2 times a week. This phase allows your immune system to build tolerance to allergens. This typically spans between 3 and 6 months.
• Maintenance phase – After reaching the optimal dose, the frequency will be reduced to about once a month. The maintenance phase continues for 3 to 5 years to solidify your immune system’s desensitization.
The total number of shots needed varies, with most people requiring around 20 to 30 injections during the build-up phase. The goal is to achieve long-term symptom relief and tolerance. Your allergist will create a personalized treatment plan that considers your specific allergies, response to treatment, and health factors.
Before starting allergy shots, there are several important considerations to keep in mind, including:
• Time commitment – Allergy shots require regular visits during the build-up and maintenance phases. It’s important to consider your availability for these appointments.
• Cost – It’s best to get in touch with your insurance provider to confirm your coverage for allergy shots as well as determine your out-of-pocket costs.
• Potential side effects – The possible side effects of this treatment are generally mild and include local reactions at the injection site.
• Allergist consultation – To begin the process, schedule a thorough consultation with an allergist to discuss your allergies, medical history, and concerns.
• Health conditions – It’s important to inform your allergist about any existing health conditions, as certain illnesses can impact your eligibility.
• Expectations – While allergy shots offer long-term relief, it may take time to see a noticeable reduction in your symptoms. For this reason, it’s important to have realistic expectations and patience for the process.
By considering these factors and discussing them with the specialist, you can make an informed decision about whether allergy shots are the right choice for you. We serve patients from Coral Gables FL, Palmetto Bay FL, Westchester FL, Brownsville FL, Kendall FL, Pinecrest FL, Richmond West FL, and Goulds FL.