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Allergy Shots: How Effective Are They

Getting allergy shots is one way for a person to minimize his sensitivity to allergy triggers, or allergens. Also referred to as immunotherapy, this method is an alternative form of dealing with the substance that causes a person to experience allergic reactions. The principal objective of this allergy treatment alternative is to help a patient increase his tolerance to the allergens that trigger allergic symptoms. Immunotherapy is not a cure, but a way for a sufferer to have less allergic episodes, and therefore, less suffering.

Getting An Allergy Shot

Immunotherapy allergy shots are typically recommended for individuals who suffer from acute allergies or go through allergic symptoms for more than three months every year. Each shot contains a diminutive amount of the allergens that trigger allergic attacks. The shot mostly has adequate allergen content to stimulate the immune system of the body. The amount injected (in the upper arm) is controlled to make sure that the body does not go into a full-blown allergic reaction.

Eventually, the doctor increases the allergen dose in the succeeding immunotherapy allergy shots. This helps the body to become desensitized to the allergens. In other words, it slowly gets used to the substances. When this happens, the body’s immune system builds a tolerance to the allergy triggers until such time that the allergic symptoms vanish in due course.

Frequency Of Allergy Shots

Immunotherapy is scheduled regularly, starting with a small dose and gradually worked up to higher doses. At the start, immunotherapy requires an individual to get an allergy shot performed by a health care provider once or twice weekly for a number of months. The dose will be increased until the maintenance dosage is attained. If the individual experiences positive results from the shots, he will be required to visit the health care professional until the specified time period for immunotherapy is completed.

By this time, if the results remain optimistic, the person will likely have developed immunity to the allergens or have improved symptoms. Those who do not show improvements in their symptoms will stop getting their shots. Immunotherapy may last from 3 to five years.

Allergy Shots Cost

The costs involved in getting an allergy shot can be expensive and can take 3 to five years. Improvement of symptoms may also become evident only after a year or more and may take several more for further progress. But allergy shots cost may be no more than the collective costs of medications, doctor consultations, hospital visits, and skipped days of work or school spread over years of suffering from allergic reactions.

The Efficacy Of Immunotherapy

The effectiveness of allergy shots can be different, depending on the seriousness of the allergies of the affected individual as well as the various substances that can cause allergic reactions. Generally, immunotherapy can provide positive results to those people who suffer from allergies caused by insect stings, molds, dust mites, pet dander and some pollen varieties. Individuals with allergic asthma may also want to consider talking to their doctors about getting a seasonal allergy shot.