Allergy shots (immunotherapy) are a long-term treatment for allergies in which your body is introduced to small amounts of an allergen with the goal that you will build up immunity. Immunotherapy will greatly reduce your symptoms and prevent future allergic reactions. If your current allergy treatment plan isn’t working, immunotherapy could give you the relief you need.
Allergy shots can treat several conditions:
- Eye & nasal allergies
- Allergic asthma
- Immunologic diseases
- Stinging insect allergies
- Pet dander
- Mold grass dust mites
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
The Two Phases of Immunotherapy
Your allergy shot treatment will occur in two phases: build-up and maintenance.
The build-up phase lasts between two and six months, and this is when your body is introduced to very small doses of the allergen. The dose will gradually increase until the correct amount for immunity is met.
You will receive this same dose throughout the maintenance phase, which lasts between three and five years. This phase allows your body to become less sensitive to the allergen, which will reduce your allergy symptoms.
Are Allergy Shots Right for Me?
Dr. Langford can talk with you about whether allergy shots will be an effective treatment for your allergies. In general, it is a good option for people who:
- Have severe symptoms that interfere with normal, daily activities even when they are on allergy medication
- Cannot take allergy medication due to its side effects
Children must be at least three years old to receive allergy shots. Adults with severe asthma, high blood pressure, glaucoma, or who take certain medications may not be candidates for allergy shots. Unfortunately, immunotherapy is not a treatment for allergies to food or medication.
Treating allergies through allergy shots takes several years, making it a long-term time commitment. If you need allergy relief quickly, rush immunotherapy might be a good option for you. In rush immunotherapy, the build-up phase is reduced to 1-3 days. Talk to Dr. Langford about whether or not this option is right for you.
Schedule an appointment at Langford Allergy today!