Itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing are all common symptoms which a vast majority of us experience as allergy symptoms at specific times throughout the year. Many individuals do everything in their power to avoid allergies including changing their diets, staying indoors or taking vitamin supplements. These may contribute to fighting allergies, but there is another effective way to do so. Immunotherapy or allergy shots are gaining popularity. Getting an allergy shot can be scary for some people, so we thought it would be best to fully explain allergy shots and address some common concerns.
How Do They Work?
Allergy shots contain a small amount of the substance which you are allergic to. If you are allergic to pollen, a small amount of pollen would be added to the shot. The amount is small enough so that it does not cause you to suffering from allergy symptoms, but enough so that you body gets used to fighting the allergen. Therefore, the next time your body comes in contact with that substance, it will be familiar with fighting it off and you will most likely not suffer from allergies.
Are Allergy Shots Safe For Everyone?
Although most people will have positive results from allergy shots, they are not right for everyone. Allergy shots are not recommended for individuals suffering from severe heart problems, asthma or other respiratory problems. Also, children under the age of 5 should not be exposed to allergy shots for safety reasons.
What Is The Procedure?
Once you have decided that you would like to get allergy shots, you will receive a shot 1 or 2 times a week for about 6 months. Afterwards, your maintenance shots will require you to get one shot a month, year round for about 3-5 years. Once you have received allergy shots on a regular basis for a couple years, you can discuss it with your doctor and they may tell you its okay to stop getting them at that point.
What Are The Side Effects?
Although allergy shots are effective for many individuals in eliminating allergy symptoms, certain individuals may experience some harmful side effects. Some people may experience feelings of shock when the shot is initially injected, others may feel light-headed or nauseated. For this reason, doctors are required to keep patients in their office for at least 20 minutes after receiving each shot in order to ensure the patient’s safety.
Some people swear by allergy shots while others criticize the effects or claim they don’t work effectively. If you are considering receiving immunotherapy, contact your doctor to discuss. Your doctor will give you more insight in order for you to determine if this is something you really want to do.