Things you Should Know about Allergy Shots
If you suffer from allergies and you have been looking for a permanent solution, you have probably heard of allergy shots and perhaps wondered what they are all about. Allergy shots can simply be described as injections given to allergy patients at regular intervals over a period of several years with the aim of stopping or reducing allergy attacks. They are also known as immunotherapy. They contain a small amount of allergens, enough to stimulate the immune system without leading to a full-blown allergic reaction. Below are some important things you should know about allergy shots in Leesburg, VA.
Do Allergy Shots Work?
People are different, and the truth is that some patients do not respond well to allergy shots. However, there is evidence that allergy shots are generally effective. Studies have shown that they reduce the need for medication by up to 64 percent. It has also been established that they can help to reduce symptoms of hay fever by 55 percent. In a nutshell, the effectiveness of allergy shots is well researched and documented.
They Can Take Years to Work
Allergy Shots are not a quick fix for allergy attacks. Although some people may start feeling better after a few months, others may not experience any noticeable improvements until after six to eighteen months. Some patients may get long-lasting relief after three to five years, while others may have to continue receiving treatment after that long.
They are Not Recommended for Everyone
Most adults and kids above five years can safely get allergy shots. However, health professionals recommend against them for children with uncontrolled, severe asthma. If a patient is sick or has flaring asthma, it is advisable for them to avoid allergy shots until they are feeling better. If a woman becomes pregnant during treatment, they can continue receiving their treatment. However, it is not advisable for expectant moms to start their treatment or increase dosage during their pregnancy.
It is a big-time Commitment
Allergy shots are administered in two distinct phases: the build-up phase and the maintenance phase. The build-up phase is three to six months long. During this phase, a patient receives a shot one time or two times per week. The maintenance phase can go for several years. During this phase, the patients get one or two shots per month. It is necessary for patients to stick to the schedule to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment and to minimize the chances of adverse side effects.
They Work Well with Antihistamines
Taking oral antihistamines before receiving the allergy shot can substantially reduce reactions and side effects. Besides, research shows that pre-treatment with antihistamines can enhance the effectiveness of allergy shots.
The Bottom Line
Overall, it is apparent that if allergies have been dampening the quality of your life, you can go for allergy shots in pursuit for a long term solution to your problem. However, you have to remember that this is a journey that will take you several years, and you have to be very committed to observing the required schedule. Besides, you have to remember that allergy shots are not for everyone, and therefore, it is wise to consult an allergist before you go for a shot. If you are thinking of having allergy shots, contact Allergy Asthma & Immunology Institute for guidance.