If you’ve ever suffered from seasonal allergies, you know what a hassle they can be. For millions of Americans, allergies bring an onslaught of itching, sneezing, headaches, fatigue, and other uncomfortable symptoms. And for a percentage of people, these symptoms are severe enough to interfere with daily life. There are some over-the-counter medications designed to lower allergy symptoms, as well as some lifestyle changes that may reduce exposure to allergens. However, for serious cases, allergy shots may be the best option.
Allergy shots, also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT), are designed to help your body slowly reduce its reaction to certain allergens. Shots containing a very small amount of the allergen that you are reactive to are administered in a series over a period of time. Your doctor will conduct an allergy assessment and prescribe the ideal treatment for you based on your unique allergies and symptoms. This allows for tailored, targeted therapy.
To make the most out of this immunotherapy, your doctor may formulate a plan that includes multiple shots administered in a clinic, spaced out appropriately. There is an initial “loading” period where shots are given closer together, typically one shot two times a week, for 10 to 20 weeks. The goal is to slowly increase the amount of the allergen in the shots, slowly building your natural tolerance to it.
After a while, you may find your symptoms wane when confronted with a previous trigger allergen, and then you can progress to maintenance doses. Most people experience a noticeable difference within the first year of treatment, and long-term benefits can be seen in those who continue treatments for three to five years.
Many people are allergic to pollen, ragweed, animal dander, and other common substances. These are actually ideal allergies to treat with shots, and over 85% of people who undergo immunotherapy see significant improvements in their symptoms.
If your allergies are getting in the way of life and you can’t seem to treat them easily with over-the-counter options, you may be a great candidate for allergy shots. Come down to DuPage Immediate Care today for an allergy assessment and we can discuss your best options!