Have you experienced asthma or other allergy attacks before? Certainly it can be a tricky way of living as you have to be conscious 24/7 to avoid a scenario of a serious allergy attack. One way out of this conundrum is resorting to allergy shots. Allergen immunotherapy injections (allergy shots) are a treatment for patients with an allergic runny nose, asthma or life threatening insect stings. Allergy shots tend to work for plenty of patients and are viewed as a good treatment method. The allergen immunotherapy injections have organic proteins as part of their constituents. Allergy shots are advantageous because they deal with the underlying problem. Most importantly, allergy shots are used by those who have allergy symptoms that can’t be dealt with by a change of surrounding or medication.
Now, allergy shots are not meant to cure allergies, rather deal with extreme cases. They achieve this by reducing the effects of the reactions constituting the allergic attack. With this in mind, you will have fewer symptoms at hand and hence need fewer meds to keep the allergies at bay. It is also crucial to check out the allergy shot schedule. Avoid cases where you go for long periods without taking your shots. If already some weeks or months have gone by, engage your allergist as a change of dose is necessary.
For some people reading this, they may feel as if they are condemned to have these shots all their life. So the question is how long do you have to keep getting these allergen immunotherapy injections? The answer to this is relative as the shots are done in 2 phases. The build-up phase is the first phase. At this level, a low dose shots are used with a gradual increase towards higher levels. This phase takes 6-10 months depending on how often you get the shots and your tolerance levels. When the effective therapeutic dose is deduced, we now get the maintenance phase which lasts 3-5 years. At this time, you will be getting your injections less often.
Allergy shots also have side-effects. You can expect local reactions which include things like redness. Using antihistamines may help with this. If in case these reactions last more than a day, contact your allergy doctor. The other set of reactions are known as systemic reactions. Some common signs of systemic reactions include lightheadedness, coughing, wheezing, flushing, chest tightness, etc.
Lastly, if you have a new medical status, get pregnant or start some new meds, inform your allergy doctor for further advice.