Do Allergy Shots Work?

Do Allergy Shots Work?


Allergy shots can be very effective against insect bites and stings and also against allergens that you would inhale. For example, up to 75% of hay fever sufferers get reduced or get rid of allergy symptoms by going through allergen immunotherapy.

Allergen immunotherapy procedure

The technical term for this method is allergen immunotherapy but almost everybody just calls it allergy shots. Sometimes it is also known as specific immunotherapy because the injections are designed to focus only your specific allergies. The first step, definitely, is to clearly understand actually what it is you are allergic to so that the allergy shots can be focused for you. Your doctor will use various blood and test tests to identify the specific allergies. Once the allergens are identified, the sequence of allergy shots can be setup.

The procedure does not involve just single shot but rather a series of many shots administered over an extended period of time. You will get one or two shots per week of a very low dose to begin with. Usually, you are given the shot in your upper arm and the nasal allergy doctor will ask that you stay in the clinic for 20 to 30 minutes to ensure you don’t react harshly to the dose. The process of single shot per week continues for up to six or seven months with ever-rising doses of the allergen. Once you get a dose level that permits you to rightly fight off normal atmosphere levels of the allergen then the doctor will switch you to maintenance allergy shot that will be given about once per month. Sometimes this technique will provide you a permanent immunity to the allergen but more often you will need to go through the practice again at some time in the future.

Goal of allergy shots

 The technique is to slowly build up your resistance to the allergies without providing you so much at a time that you get harsh reactions.  It is extremely similar to a vaccination. Over a period of time, your body gets used to fighting off the invading substance and your bad reactions to the allergy are eliminated or reduced. You build up immunity to the allergy substance. The body general reaction to allergens is to produce a substance known as IgE which is small for immunoglobulin E. IgE builds up a protection barrier to the allergen by causing typical nasal allergy doctor, watery eyes, sore, runny nose, inflammation, sneezing, skin redness, and congestion.

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