If you experience frequent allergy attacks and allergy symptoms that interfere with your daily activities, you may consider allergy shots to reduce or eliminate your allergies. Sandra A. Ho, MD, is an allergy, asthma, and immunotherapy specialist diagnosing and treating patients of all ages for allergies at Avant Allergy in Culver City, California. To find out what causes your allergy symptoms and see whether allergy shots could provide relief, use the online booking tool or call the practice to schedule an appointment.
Allergy shots are a form of allergen immunotherapy to decrease allergy symptoms caused by environmental allergens including rhinitis, asthma, or stinging insects. If you have allergies, Dr. Ho may suggest the long-term treatment strategy of allergy shots to decrease or eliminate allergy symptoms. You receive an increased dose of your allergen in each allergy shot to help decrease your immune system’s allergic response to the allergen over time.
Allergy shots are beneficial for children and adults who experience allergic reactions to stinging insects, asthma, or rhinitis. Allergy shots can also treat frequent conjunctivitis. Dr. Ho determines whether you’re a candidate for allergy shots based on how frequently you experience allergy symptoms, how well your current treatment or medications are working, whether you can commit to the time required to receive allergy shots, and your level of desire for avoiding long-term medications.
Allergy shots aren’t used to treat food allergies. The best course of treatment for a food allergy is to avoid the food. Allergy specialists at Avant Allergy determine whether allergy shots can relieve your allergy symptoms or provide alternative allergy treatment based on your allergens and symptoms.
Allergy shots treat environmental allergies in a similar way as vaccines prevent diseases. Your immune system experiences gradually increasing doses of the environmental allergen so it builds immunity or tolerance against that specific allergen. There are two phases of allergy shots, called the buildup phase and the maintenance phase.
During the buildup phase, you receive allergy shots 1-2 times weekly for 3-6 months. After the buildup phase, you enter the maintenance phase and receive allergy shots less frequently with 2-4 weeks between each dose. Many people remain in the maintenance phase for 3-5 years.
Some people experience reduced allergy symptoms after the first few doses in the buildup phase while others don’t experience relief for 12 months of maintenance. If you’ve experienced no improvement after a year of maintenance allergy shots, Dr. Ho looks at other allergy treatment options for you.
Find out what causes your allergy symptoms and whether allergy shots are the right treatment for you by scheduling an appointment online or calling Avant Allergy today.