Immunotherapy for Allergy treatment in Illinois
For patients who suffer daily from allergies, allergy shots, often referred to as immunotherapy, are the closest available thing to a cure. The goal of immunotherapy is to train the immune system not to react to the substances that are causing allergic reactions. Allergy shots are effective for allergens such as pollen, mold, and pet dander, but are not yet proven effective for food.
The overwhelming majority of patients who undergo immunotherapy have a marked reduction in allergy symptoms. Treatment can reduce the need for allergy medications and can help reduce the risk of developing additional allergies.
When deciding to undergo immunotherapy, patients will first be skin tested for a variety of common allergens. The results of this test are then reviewed to allow a custom allergy extract that will treat your specific allergies. The shots are administered in escalating doses, starting with very small doses. These can be done either once or twice each week until you have reached the desired maximum dose. This process can take anywhere from four to six month. Once you have reached the maintenance dose, shots can be spaced further apart.
Immunotherapy is considered a very effective and safe way to treat allergies. Because patients are being exposed to extracts of their specific allergen, there is potential for reaction. To monitor this, patients will be asked to stay in the office for a short period after the shot. If there is a reaction, we will be able to treat it immediately.
In general, patients who choose immunotherapy will begin to see an improvement in symptoms after six months to a year. In certain instances, rush immunotherapy may be considered to decrease the amount of time it takes to reach the maintenance phase of treatment. Rush immunotherapy requires the patient to receive increasing doses in a single day of treatment under close supervision by the medical staff. Patients who had major reactions to their allergy test may not be candidates for rush immunotherapy. If you are interested in finding out about it, our team can help determine your candidacy during your consultation visit.
To learn more about immunotherapy and other forms of allergy treatment, call Advanced Allergy & Asthma Associates today.