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Allergy Shots: An Effective but Long Term Solution

What Are Allergy Shots?

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Allergy shots are used to help your body fight off and develop an immunity towards allergens. These shots contain the allergens that your body is allergic to. Allergens such as grass, pollen or mold are put in a shot in very small amount and are injected in to your body.

Will Shots Work for Me?

If you are severely allergic to a large number of different allergens, then shots may not be as effective method of relief. However, in many instances, shots will be a more effective method of long term relief than other treatments.

Effective On:

  • Pollen Allergies
  • Hay Fever
  • Eye Allergies
  • Bee-sting Allergy
  • Allergies Caused by Medications

Not Effective On:

  • Food Allergies
  • Hives

How Often Are Shots Given?

Shots are giving regularly with gradually increasing doses. If you begin taking allergy shots, you will need to go to your doctor on a weekly basis for several months.

If the shots are effective, you can begin going less frequently (every 2 to 4 weeks). Many patients notice a significant decrease in their symptoms, and for many, their sensitivies to allergens may completely disappear.

However, in order to achieve the maxiumum benefit of these shots, you may need to take them on a regular basis for 2 to 5 years or longer. If you stop before your treatment is completed, your body is likely to become sensitive to those allergens again.

Reasons for Taking Allergy Shots

The only true cure to allergies is through immunotherapy (shots containing allergens) which results in your body no longer being sensitive to specific allergens. However, there are many other reasons for taking these shots as well:

  • Sometimes when medicines stop responding to your allergies, allergy shot seems to be the only option.
  • Medication for treating allergies can be very expensive compared with the allergy shots.
  • Frequent use of medicines can also be harmful for the body, and if the medication is stopped the symptoms of allergy often return very quickly.
  • Many people who take medications, must do so continuously for years in order to maintain relief. In this respect shots are a better alternative, because eventually you may be cured completely.
  • An allergy shot reduces the need for medication, reducing the cost also.
  • For those who dont like swallowing every day, shots are a good option for them.
  • Also, for those who experience side effects from medicines- a once a month shot sounds like a good option.

Side Effects

Side effects are rare, but in certain cases people have reacted severely to the shots. Before you go decide to that shots are the best treatment for you, make sure you are fully aware of all of the possible side effects.

Minor:

  • Itch Skin
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Watery Eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Hives

Itchy skin often happens on the area where the shot is given. The area might turn reddish or swell. If this is temporary then the situation is regular but if it persists, the doctor should be consulted immediately.

Severe:

  • Throat Swellling
  • Chest Congestion
  • Wheezing

Very Severe:

  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Dizziness

In the most severe instances, patients may have an irregular heartbeat and might also become unconscious. Often, these side effects will develop while still at the doctors office. If this is the case, the patient can usually be treated fairly easily with medication and by staying at the doctors office a little longer.