Elgin area residents ask, “Which treatment can provide relief from allergy symptoms?”
For patients who are suffering from allergies, immunotherapy treatment (allergy shots) may be the best solution to drastically reduce or eliminate allergic symptoms. This is an excellent option for patients who are not seeing a response to medications or who are having persistent symptoms several times throughout the year. It can help some patients wean off medications. Allergy shots are an effective course of treatment for patients suffering from asthma, nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, rashes, or venom sting allergies. They are not effective for food, latex, or drug allergies.
To begin, allergy shots are administered one to two times per week over the course of a few months. Patients will typically need to stay in the office for up to a half an hour after each shot to monitor for potential side effects. Swelling or redness around the injection site is considered normal and it will go away within a few hours.
Allergy shots consist of a miniscule amount of the specific allergen. For example, if you are allergic to pollen, your allergy shot will contain a tiny amount of pollen. For patients who are allergic to dust mites, their allergy shot will contain that allergen.
Over time, the dose of the shot is gradually increased until you reach a target “maintenance dose.” Once you’ve reached this level, you will drop down to a shot once or twice a month for several months. The amount of time between shots will be slowly increased by your doctor.
Over the course of treatment, you will notice your allergy symptoms lessening and beginning to go away because the body begins to tolerate the allergen and even produce a protective response with immunotherapy. If you do not notice a difference at a year, consult with your allergist, as your treatment regimen may need to be adjusted. After the first year, shots are given monthly until a memory response occurs that allows shots to be stopped but the benefit to continue naturally.
Before beginning immunotherapy for allergies, you should alert your doctor to any medicines, vitamins, or supplements that you are currently taking. Some of them may interfere with the treatment or can increase the risk of certain side effects. Patients who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should let their doctor know before starting allergy shots.
If you are in the Elgin area, immunotherapy treatment may finally provide the relief you’ve been looking for. Call us today to schedule a consultation.