Allergy shots (also called Immunotherapy) work by reducing patients’ sensitivities to their allergy triggers
When your immune system perceives a substance such as pollen or dust mites to be a threat, it produces chemicals like histamine as a defense mechanism to fight what it considers to be a harmful substance. When you opt for allergy shots, our Austin allergists prescribe increasingly larger amounts of your allergy trigger to be injected, allowing your body to build up resistance to that allergen.
Eventually, your body should no longer perceive a threat, and your immune system should stop producing histamine, which should decrease or in some cases eliminate your allergic reactions and symptoms.
Deciding whether allergy shots will work for you
Our Austin allergists will take a thorough medical history and perform a physical examination and allergy testing to determine whether or not allergy shots may be an effective treatment for you. Allergy shots have been shown to be effective for allergic rhinitis, asthma and eczema.
The build-up and maintenance phase
Our Austin allergists will create an individualized treatment plan for you, based on your allergy testing results, examination and medical history. This plan will indicate the strength and the amount of injections you will receive.
During the build-up phase, we begin with a low dosage of the substances to which you are allergic. You come in for allergy shots once or twice weekly, so we can gradually increase the dosage. This phase usually lasts from three to six months, depending on the patient. Once you are receiving the maximum, effective dosage prescribed by our Austin allergists, you will begin the maintenance phase.
During the maintenance phase, which can last from three to five years or longer, you will typically come to the office for injections every one to four weeks. The length of time between injections will be determined by our Austin allergists.
Patients should understand that their symptoms will improve gradually with allergy shots, and they may not receive the maximum benefit for 12 months into treatment; however, many patients do begin to find relief during the build-up phase.
While there is no %100 cure known for allergies, in our experience, approximately 85 to 90 percent of patients experience a significant reduction in their allergic symptoms with allergy shots, with many patients achieving complete remission and no longer requiring daily allergy medicines.
Are there any risks?
Immediately after you receive your injections, or even several hours later, you may experience some swelling or redness at the site of the injection. Some people may experience some increase in their allergic symptoms such as congestion or sneezing.
Our allergy shots are supervised by our board-certified Austin allergists and our experienced staff
Very rarely, a patient may have an anaphylactic reaction to allergy shots, which would require immediate medical attention. This is why it is extremely important for allergy shots to be managed by trained allergists who understand allergic reactions to injections and know how to treat the patient. If you are thinking about allergy shots to treat your allergies, contact our Austin allergists for the kind of expert care you can trust.