Receiving Allergy Shots: A Helpful Alternative

Living with debilitating allergies can be very painful for millions of people, as their quality of life is affected by the irritating symptoms that often accompany these allergies. Sinusitis, skin disorders, gastro-intestinal upset, chronic ear infections are all symptoms which are often caused by allergies. Finding effective treatments for these allergies can be a real struggle, as many therapies only work for short periods of time. One treatment that many people employ is taking allergy shots. These shots contain a small amount of the substance to which one is allergic, whether it is trees, ragweed, or pollen. The efficacy of this approach is still debatable, yet many believe that they have experienced good results with their use over time.

Allergy Shots: How Do They Work?

When a person receives allergy shots, the body begins to produce antibodies to that particular allergen. This helps your body to fight the allergen. So, the next time you come into contact with the allergen, these antibodies which have been created can help to block the effect it would have otherwise had. This in turn causes the symptoms to be less severe as well. Relief will begin to come with time and will typically be long-lasting. The most common reason for receiving allergy shots is for pollen allergies such as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Asthma may be improved in some people with the use of allergy shots. These shots often come as a last resort when other methods simply haven't helped, such as taking antihistamines or other medications.

If someone suffers from severe asthma or heart disease or other heart-related problems, then allergy shots are not recommended. Also, children who are under five years old should not receive them either. During pregnancy, allergy shots should not be started, as little is known what the effect may be upon the unborn child. If you have already been receiving these shots, you may be able to continue. Should you and your doctor decide that allergy shots are the correct treatment for you, an allergy test will be performed to determine the causes of your allergies. The skin test is usually done in order to see which ones your skin reacts to. Also, a blood test can be performed as well. Typically, the shots are started about 2 times a week, and then after six months, one can begin maintenance shots once a month. Making the decision to receive allergy shots should be carefully planned and thought about with one's physician prior to beginning.