What would you do to finally be free from your allergies? While practicing avoidance and taking a daily antihistamine may work for some, others opt to receive long-term treatment called immunotherapy. Continue reading to learn if this option is right for you.
What Is Immunotherapy?
This type of allergy treatment involves gradually exposing your body to a tiny amount of a substance that triggers an allergic reaction. Your allergy symptoms will slowly decrease as your body builds up an immunity.
The most common type of immunotherapy is allergy shots, which require regular injections for three to five years. There are two phases of an allergy shot treatment.
The buildup phase lasts about three to six months. Patients receive a shot one to three times a week in their upper arm. During this phase, the concentration of the allergen – the specific substance that causes your symptoms – is gradually increased with each shot.
The maintenance phase lasts about three to five years. Those in this phase receive a shot about once a month. Unlike the buildup phase, the concentration of allergens in the shots administered in the maintenance phase stays at the same concentration.
Who Are the Best Candidates for Immunotherapy?
The best candidates are those who experience severe allergy symptoms year-round and who have not found relief from traditional treatments. Allergy shots are not recommended for those under the age of five, those who are pregnant or those who have heart disease or severe asthma.
Allergy shots require a large time commitment. It is important to take this into account when determining if this treatment is right for you.
How to Get Started
If you are interested in finally experiencing long-term relief from your allergy symptoms, your doctor will first need to confirm exactly what substances are causing your allergic reaction. While you may report sneezing when out on a walk around Lake Cascade, your doctor needs to determine the specific type of grass, tree or weed pollen that is causing your symptoms. This is done through allergy tests, including a skin prick test and a blood test.
Your doctor will use the results of your tests to determine if your specific allergies make you a good candidate for this type of treatment.
To learn more about allergy shots or to schedule an appointment with a professional, contact SW Idaho ENT today.