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Immunotherapy: Determining If Allergy Shots Are Right for You

by Brett Mills

There are a lot of different prescription and over-the-counter allergy medicines. Some of these medicines lose effectiveness over time. Some others will lose effectiveness when the pollen count is even a little higher than normal. Immunotherapy treatments can help you stay free of your allergy symptoms. However, these treatments require some initial discussion.

Immunotherapy: Allergy Shots

Allergy shots work much as vaccine shots do. They're designed to help you build up a tolerance to an allergen over time. They can

  • Help you get over a specific allergy
  • Give you long, but temporary relief from an allergy
  • Help prevent the formation of new allergies
  • Retard the progression of certain allergies

Allergy shots can do a lot. But you have to keep in mind a few things about them. Allergy treatments are a process. It's not as if you can receive a single shot and everything is okay. You have to go through a full treatment process that will require multiple shots over time as well as follow up visits with your allergist or immunologist.

Another caveat is that these shots don't always work, or they're not as effective for you as they are for others. There are many reasons why this can happen.

  • Improper dosages – This is why you need a highly qualified immunologist.
  • Treating for the wrong allergens – There's a lot of them, and it's possible that the one causing you problems isn't the one that's targeted.
  • Too many of a specific allergen in the air – If you're receiving treatment for a specific allergen, but live in a place where that allergen is heavily present, then the treatments may not work. This also applies to if you're usually around things or activities that can trigger your allergic reactions.

Do You Need Immunotherapy?

Choosing immunotherapy is often a personal choice. There are only rare circumstances where it may become "necessary." Your need for it will come from how much your allergies affect you and what you and your allergist decide. Here are some of the more common scenarios where immunotherapy can become a necessity.

  • If your normal medications are losing effectiveness
  • If your normal medications don't work well for you
  • If you're taking other non-allergy medications and fear a bad reaction

You may not need immunotherapy.

  • If your allergy medicine works well for you
  • If you only suffer from mild allergic reactions
  • If you only suffer reactions for short periods of time

These aren't things that you should try to figure out on your own. Speak to an immunotherapy service like Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Wyoming LLC about your allergies. They can help guide you towards a decision that will work best for you.