Allergies are one of the most common health issues affecting children and adults in the U.S. If you develop symptoms like coughing, sneezing, hives, runny nose or itchy eyes, make sure you check with a board-certified allergy specialist who can advise in regards to what testing should be carried out and what treatment plan would work best for your condition.
Although there is no cure for allergies, symptoms can be prevented and diminished with the right treatment. One of the most effective treatments for allergies is immunotherapy or allergy shots. These can be prescribed by allergy doctors and they can last up to 5 years. If you are wondering how often you should get your allergy shots, we gathered some useful information on the subject below.
What are allergy shots and how do they work?
Allergy shots or allergen immunotherapy is a treatment for patients with serious allergy symptoms that could not be alleviated by medicines or changes to their environment. They work by gradually injecting a small dosage of the allergen to build up a tolerance to it and reduce the production of IE antibodies.
When should you get allergy shots?
You should always consult your doctor if you have any type of allergy symptoms. Then you can be tested for the specific allergen that causes those symptoms and has the best-prescribed treatment. Your physician might recommend getting allergy shots if you have a common allergen that can be difficult to avoid, you are suffering from multiple allergies or your medication does not work in controlling your symptoms.
How often do you need to get allergy shots?
The duration of the allergen immunotherapy depends on your doctor’s instructions, but typically it can last up to 5 years, depending on the patient. Even if they don’t represent a cure, many patients find their symptoms disappearing completely after the treatment.
There are two phases in which the allergy shots occur-the build-up phase and the maintenance phase.
This phase lasts from 3 to 6 months and during it, you will receive a lower dosage containing small amounts of allergens that will gradually increase, until reaching your maintenance dose. This depends on how your body tolerates the shots.
After reaching the amount of dosage you can tolerate- also called the maintenance dose- you will receive your allergy shots less often, usually every 3 to 4 weeks. Depending on your allergist’s advice, The maintenance phase can last from 3-5 years.
Allergy shots are an effective way to increase your tolerance to allergies which can cause bothersome symptoms. Your doctor can recommend immunotherapy if medication or avoidance of the allergens is not working. Always consult with an expert allergy specialist to get the guidance, testing, and treatment.