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The best way to prevent allergic reaction is to avoid contact with the allergens that trigger an allergic reaction in oneís own system, yet some do not have the option to avoid such allergy symptom triggers. Many turn to allergy shots, also known as "immunotherapy," to relieve the affects inescapable allergens: inhalant allergies (dust mites, cockroaches, animal dander, pollen, mold); insect sting or bite allergies (bees, wasps). Recent research has clearly shown the effectiveness of allergen vaccine immunotherapy for both allergic rhinitis and asthma. Immunotherapy shots have proven highly effective for stinging insect allergies. These new studies confirmed what allergy specialists have observed for years in their patients: Allergy shots work exceptionally well in relieving allergy symptoms! In fact allergy shots are the ONLY way to suppress the underlying allergy response for long-term allergy relief.
How Do Allergy Shots Work?
allergy shots increase your bodyís tolerance to harmful allergens. An allergy specialist will inject a minute amount of the allergenís extract into your body Ė just enough that your immune system can easily destroy the allergen without medical assistance. Over time the doctor gradually increases the amount of allergen extract administered into your system; so that your body becomes better able to battle larger and larger amounts of the allergen in a patientís system. Allergy shots slow down and reduce the production of the immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody. So one could think of each shot as adding a brick to the "protective wall" against dangerous triggers that cause an allergic reaction.
If you have any questions or concerns about allergy shots, please Contact a South West Washington Allergy specialist.
Who are the Best Candidates for Allergy Shots?
If you are able to avoid the trigger of your allergies or if usual doses of medications control your symptoms, then immunotherapy might not be needed. While allergy shots have been proven effective against inhalant allergens and stinging insect allergies, they are not used for food allergies. If any of the following applies to you, then you may be a candidate for allergy shots:
How Often Do I Need Shots?
At the beginning, allergy shots are usually administered two to three times per week. With this rapid build-up, improvement can occur within three to four months and will usually be at its full benefit within the first year to 18 months. In a typical treatment schedule, shots are tapered to weekly intervals once maintenance is reached (usually at three to six months) then to every two weeks at 12 months, then every three to four weeks after 18 to 24 months. Most people can come off their shots after about five years. Your shot schedule is individualized by the board-certified allergy and asthma specialist - these specialists are the only ones who receive extensive training in this procedure. You should always consult with an allergy and asthma specialist before beginning a series of allergy shots.
Are Allergy Shots Expensive?
Studies have shown that allergy shots are a very cost-effective way to treat allergies. They have been shown to reduce medication requirements and improve the quality of life in those patients who take them. They are the only long-term way to bring symptoms under control in those patients who have significant allergic reactions.
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