Allergies – whether due to environment, food, pet, or medications – are all too common in the United States. If not managed properly, allergy symptoms, such as itchy and runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes, can affect your quality of life in a big way.
Allergy medications can significantly mitigate allergy symptoms; however, if your medications and other allergy treatments are not providing enough relief, your allergy doctor may suggest allergy shots.
If allergy shots are new to you, you may have many questions in mind about them. Here we’ll answer the common question about allergy shots and tell you where you can go to get allergy shots for your allergies in Weatherford, TX.
What Exactly Are Allergy Shots?
Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy that help your body get used to the allergen – the substances that activate your immune system and trigger an allergic reaction.
Allergens are otherwise harmless substances and may be pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites, bee venom, etc. A particular food or a food constituent can also be your allergy trigger.
Allergy shots do not cure allergy symptoms, but over time, they decrease the severity and frequency of allergy symptoms. It is very likely to not have allergy symptoms at all after the completion of immunotherapy.
How Do Allergy Shots Work?
Before talking about how allergy shots work, let’s take a look at how the culprit of your allergies is identified.
To pinpoint your allergen, first, your allergy doctor orders allergy tests, which can be a blood test or skin test. These tests expose your body to different substances and find out which one is causing your allergy symptoms.
Once the allergen is known, it is administered to you by injection in a small but gradually increasing dose once or twice a week for several months. The dose is gradually increased until you reach a phase called the maintenance phase.
After the end of the first phase of immunotherapy (i.e., build-up phase), the maintenance phase begins, during which the allergen is administered every 2 to 4 weeks for 4 to 5 months.
The time between the doses is gradually increased until there is a time when you get the shot about once a month for 3 to 5 years.
Is There Any Alternative to Allergy Shots?
The best alternative to allergy shots is another type of immunotherapy, i.e., sublingual therapy. This therapy involves placing a tablet under your tongue at home at prescribed times to develop tolerance against the allergen.
What Are the Risks of Allergy Shots?
Allergy shots should not be problematic. However, because the shots contain the culprit to your allergies, (rarely) reactions are possible and can include redness, irritation, or swelling at the injection site. Though very rare, reactions may also include systemic reactions, like hives, nasal congestion, throat swelling, and wheezing.
Who Is Eligible for Allergy Shots?
Anyone who has allergies (whether seasonal, food, or pet allergies), experiences allergy symptoms for more than three months a year and has exhausted allergy medicines can consider allergy shots.
Allergy Doctor in Weatherford, TX
At the Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas, we offer comprehensive, individualized treatment for environmental, food, pet, and medication allergies. The tailor-made treatment plan made by our allergy doctor will not only help you breathe better but also sleep better so that you can enjoy a healthier and happier life.