Can Allergy Shots Help Me Get Relief?

Allergen immunotherapy in bottle and syringe for injection.

Few things can make us as miserable as allergies can. Adding more frustration is when medications, nasal sprays, and home remedies fail. But, there may be an option that can help you get some much-needed relief. Allergy shots are a treatment that aims to help us confront our most potent allergens. Here are some tips on how they work and if they may be what you need to end your suffering.

Why Nasal Sprays Can Fail

Many nasal sprays get prescribed with the promise of allergy relief. Nasal sprays can provide a short-term solution to allergy troubles.

But, many people grow frustrated because they become more congested than before.

Nasal sprays become ineffective over time because they are often overused. Most nasal sprays are for a short, 3-5 day period of use, but many people make the mistake of going past this.

Overusing nasal sprays makes them useless.

This is because the blood vessels in the nose stop responding to medication. Once this happens, congestion returns worse than before.

How Allergy Shots Can Help

If medications no longer bring relief, allergy shots may be an effective alternative.

Medications contain antihistamines which block your body’s response to allergens. 

The Allergy shots have traces of allergens in them, but not enough to overwhelm your body. They slowly expose your body to allergens and help you develop immunity to them. 

Rather than depending on medications, your body can begin adapting to troublesome allergens. 

As your body builds allergen tolerance, the need for medication decreases. The result is less congestion and minimal exposure to the side effects of medication.

Are Allergy Shots Risky?

While there are risks with all medical procedures, allergy shots are generally safe. Allergy shots expose you to allergens, increasing the potential of a reaction.

Possible reactions include:

  • Swelling at the injection site
  • Sneezing
  • Hives
  • Wheezing

Your risk of reactions decreases with how often you receive doses, but risks vary according to your case.

How Do Allergy Shots work?

The allergy shots follow a schedule that flows from two phases. The first phase is the build-up phase. The build-up phase starts small, then increases the allergen dose gradually over several months. The next part, the maintenance phase, continues for several years, with monthly maintenance shots.

How Long Does Relief Last?

While there is no cure for allergies, relief from allergy shots varies for each case. Allergy symptoms generally improve after the first year. The best results occur after the second or third year of treatment.

If you would like to learn more about allergy shots, St. Louis Sinus Center can help. Call our Festus or St. Louis office for a consultation at 314-582-0888.

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