How Immunotherapy Shots Work to Treat Allergies

allergy testing

Allergies are common, and symptoms range from annoying to life-threatening. There are numerous options available to treat allergies. In some cases, an allergist may recommend immunotherapy to bring relief. If you’re wondering, “Where can I get at an allergy shot?”, read on!

allergy testing

What is immunotherapy?

allergy testing

Immunotherapy is one of several treatment options for allergies. Environmental immunotherapy works by giving shots to the patient to help build up a tolerance to the substance they are allergic to. Building tolerance gradually helps to reduce the severity of allergy symptoms, and sometimes, it can eliminate allergy symptoms altogether. To make immunotherapy effective, an allergist will gradually increase the amount of substances a person is allergic to over time. Immunotherapy is most frequently used with seasonal allergies.

What happens during immunotherapy?

las vegas allergies

If you suffer from Las Vegas allergies, a few treatment options are available. Before starting treatment, you’ll want to visit an allergist for a diagnosis. The allergist will recommend allergy testing to determine what you are allergic to and how severe your reactions are. Allergy immunotherapy is most often used for seasonal allergies.

Once an allergist determines you are a good candidate for immunotherapy, your treatment will begin. Immunotherapy treatment follows a schedule determined by your doctor. Your allergist will give you shots at each visit that inject a small amount of the substance you’re allergic to into your immune system. The amount injected is very small, which gives you time to build up immunity to the substance gradually. You’ll continue to get shots on a regular basis until you reach an adequate maintenance level. Once you reach that level, you should continue to be immune to the substance you are allergic to for some time, even when your immunotherapy sessions end. Note that the “right” immunotherapy course of treatment differs for everyone. You may need more or fewer treatment sessions than others you know to achieve the same results.

What allergies can an allergist treat with immunotherapy?
There are a handful of specific allergies that doctors will treat with immunotherapy.

Environmental allergies that can be treated with immunotherapy include:

  • Mold
  • Pollen
  • Ragweed
  • Animal dander
  • Cockroaches
  • Insect venom

If you have any questions or aren’t sure if an immunotherapy treatment is right for you, ask your doctor and express any concerns that you have prior to starting treatment.

Does immunotherapy cure allergies?
At present, there is no cure for allergies. However, immunotherapy can reduce the severity and frequency of the symptoms that you have. Immunotherapy is considered a treatment for allergies, much like medication prescribed to control allergy symptoms, but it is not a cure. Immunotherapy is popular because it can reduce the severity of allergy symptoms, and it can keep allergy symptoms and allergy-related diseases, such as hay fever and eczema, from getting worse. Immunotherapy can help those suffering from Las Vegas allergies, but it is also a popular choice for those who have asthma and have difficulty finding relief from their symptoms.

How is immunotherapy treatment administered?

Immunotherapy treatment depends on the type of allergy that you have. You are usually given a series of shots for environmental allergens.

What are immunotherapy allergy shots?

las vegas allergies

Shots for controlling allergies are one of the most common forms of managing environmental allergens. They are called subcutaneous immunotherapy, or SCIT, which means they are administered under the skin. This kind of immunotherapy treatment is the most common and popular. An added advantage of immunotherapy shots is that you can treat multiple environmental allergies with one shot. If you are allergic to several different environmental allergens, your doctor can put small bits of each allergen into the same shot. That means you don’t have to go in for shots more often than is necessary, and it’s an excellent way to develop a tolerance to several different allergens at once.

Who performs immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy treatments are given by your allergist at their office. You’ll go in for your treatments once or twice each week. The injections usually continue for a minimum of 3 years. However, depending on your specific situation, the treatment session may be longer or shorter. Your doctor can determine when you’ve reached the required dose to reach a maintenance level.

How long do I need immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is a form of treatment for allergies. It is a highly individualized treatment process. Therefore, you may not have the same schedule as another person, even with the same allergies. At first, allergists usually give immunotherapy shots once or twice a week. As tolerance increases, the rate of shots decreases. You may get shots every other week and ultimately just once or twice a month to maintain your resistance to the item you are allergic to. Immunotherapy may continue for a few years, usually 3-5 years. If you are responding well to treatment and are not taking any other medications to manage your symptoms after that time, your allergist may even stop all immunotherapy treatments.

Can you have a bad reaction to immunotherapy shots?
Serious reactions to immunotherapy shots are rare, mainly because allergists only use immunotherapy in cases where an allergen produces a less severe allergic reaction. As with any medication, however, there is a risk of potential side effects with immunotherapy shots. Therefore, as a precaution with any shot, you’re asked to remain in the doctor’s office for at least 30 minutes after you receive the shot. This gives the allergist enough time to determine if you will have a severe reaction that requires medical intervention. Even if you don’t have a reaction at the doctor’s office, keep in mind that you can still have some degree of reaction to immunotherapy shots even several hours after you get the shot. If you do react, make a note of your reaction and share it with your doctor the next time you’re in the office.

Preparing for an Appointment
With allergy testing, you’ll want to keep a few notes in mind before the appointment for optimal results. Avoid strenuous exercise at least 1-2 hours before and after the appointment. Let your doctor know of any medications you take regularly, including vitamins and supplements, as you may need to stop those before testing.

If you’re wondering “Where can I find immunology near me?”, contact us today! Make an appointment at Tottori Allergy and Asthma by calling (702) 240 4233 or booking an appointment online.

las vegas allergies
las vegas allergies