Allergy Shots Clinic Questions and Answers
Allergy shots have many benefits when they are successful in treating allergic reactions. Talk to our team of health care professionals today at Piniella Asthma + Allergy. Call us for more information or schedule an appointment online! We have 2 locations to serve you in Coral Gables FL and Palmetto Bay FL.
When are allergy shots needed?
Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy that contains a small amount of the allergen your body reacts to. The small amount of allergen in the shot will not cause a full allergic reaction but will be enough to stimulate your immune system. Allergy shots could be a good option for you when you can’t avoid the allergens that cause your reactions and medications, either over-the-counter or prescription, aren’t able to control your symptoms, if you are on other medications that don’t react well to allergy medication, if insect stings cause you to have an allergic reaction or you want to cut down on the use of allergy medication for a prolonged period of time. Allergy shots are typically used to control symptoms that are brought on by exposure to insect stings such as wasps, bees or hornets, allergens found indoors such as pet dander, dust mites, mold and cockroaches that cause symptoms year-round and seasonal allergens such as pollen and grass that cause hay fever symptoms or seasonal allergic asthma.
What are side effects of allergy shots?
Like any medication intervention, allergy shots have potential side effects and risks. While allergy shots don’t typically pose a large risk for allergy sufferers, they do involve the injection of an allergy causing substance into your body, which means reactions could happen. The most common side effect of allergy shots is an irritation, redness or swelling at the site of the injection known as a local reaction. These types of reactions usually shown up within the first few hours after receiving the injection and will clear up on their own shortly after. Potentially more serious, although less common, are systemic reactions. In this case, your body may break out in hives or you could experience nasal congestion or sneezing. In more severe cases, you could experience wheezing, chest tightness or throat swelling. The most dangerous and least common reaction is anaphylaxis. This reaction is life-threatening as the patient can have trouble breathing and their blood pressure can drop. Anaphylaxis reactions are usually quite quick, with symptoms appearing within 30 minutes of the patient being injected, but they can also take longer than that. Getting regular allergy shots will reduce the chance of a serious reaction. You can also take an antihistamine prior to receiving an allergy shot to help reduce any potential reaction but only do this if your doctor says it is safe to do so. If you are worried about a severe reaction, know that you will be monitored by your doctor for 30 minutes after the shot has been administered to ensure that you don’t have a reaction. After you leave the doctor’s office, if you do have a severe reaction, immediately return to your doctor’s office or go to the nearest emergency room. Discuss the potential side effects with your doctor ahead of time to understand what to do in the case of a severe reaction.
Do allergy shots really work?
Allergy shots won’t provide immediate immunity to the allergens that cause your body to react. Over time with regular allergy shots being administered, many patients do find that they build up the intended immunity to the allergens. It can take a few years to build up enough immunity to see a significant reduction in the allergic reactions but by the second year most people do see a noticeable improvement. Some people are able to stop receiving allergy shots after a few years and continue to have no issues with the allergens, where other people need to keep receiving allergy shots to manage their symptoms.
What are the benefits of an allergy shot?
Allergy shots have many benefits when they are successful in treating allergic reactions. They are able to provide individuals with relief in the severity and frequency of allergic reactions, with the potential to eventually build up enough tolerance to the allergen that medications and allergy shots may not be needed at all. They are able to bring your allergies under control so you can be around the allergens that cause your immune system to react. They can work on numerous allergies, so you are able to control several allergens at the same time.
If you want to know more about our services, call us or schedule an appointment online! We serve patients from Coral Gables FL, Palmetto Bay FL, Westchester FL, Brownsville FL, Kendall FL, Pinecrest FL, Richmond West FL, and Goulds FL.