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- Family Medicine
- Wellness Institute
September 6, 2017 • Allergy and Immunology
Immunotherapy is one form of long-term treatment that can be beneficial for people with several different types of allergies. They help by decreasing sensitivity to allergens, and in many cases can lead to lasting relief even after the treatment has finished.
Are allergy shots right for you? Find out here.
Is It Right For You?
People of all ages can receive allergy shots, though they aren’t generally recommended for children under five years old due to possible difficulties these children may have in cooperating and describing their allergy symptoms. If allergy shots are being considered for an older adult, consider conditions like cardiac disease. Other factors that play into your decision as you discuss immunotherapy with your allergist may include:
Allergy shots are not used for food allergies, and they also aren’t available for chronic hives (urticaria).
How They Work
Allergy shots are very similar to a vaccine in how they work. Small amounts of an allergen are injected in gradually increasing doses, which help the body develop tolerance to that allergen over time. There are two phases of immunotherapy:
Allergy shots should be supervised by a specialized physician with the proper staff and equipment. Ideally, they are given in your allergist’s office.
Allergy shots have shown effectiveness decreasing many allergy symptoms and preventing new allergies. They can also prevent the progression of allergic disease to asthma in children. It appears that allergy shot effectiveness is related to the length of treatment and the allergen doses—some people find lasting relief while others may relapse after treatment stops.
When the body fails to respond to allergy shots, it could be due to the following factors:
There are a few risks associated with allergy shots:
To find out if allergy shots might be a good solution for your allergies, speak to your allergist.
Our Utah Valley allergy specialists diagnose and treat patients who suffer from allergic and immunologic disorders. We work with both pediatric and adult patients and use the most comprehensive and up-to-date medical therapies.
“Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy).” American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/treatments/allergy-shots-(immunotherapy)
“Allergy shots.” The Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/allergy-shots/basics/definition/prc-20014493
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.