Myth Busting: Do Allergy Shots Really Work? (YES!)

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Immunotherapy is a medically designed treatment option for allergy sufferers. After following a specific treatment plan, patients often have reduced reactions to known allergies.

Immunotherapy has been scientifically shown to have a high level of effectiveness in many patients. A study published by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in 2016 found a group of older Americans had a 55 percent reduction in symptoms and 64 percent reduction in the need for medication.

How Do Allergy Shots Work?

Unlike medications that relieve symptoms, allergy shots use the body’s immune system to build up a resistance to allergens. This type of allergy treatment plan works like a vaccine, except it takes several visits over many months in order to achieve relief. The program is a significant commitment of time, but can vastly improve individual health and well-being.

An allergy shot is not a one-size-fits-all formula. It is a cocktail of the specific allergens that affect you. While they are not available for food allergies, they are an option if you have seasonal, insect or indoor allergies. Shots are given once or twice a week at increasing doses for three to six months, and then at a maintenance dose once or twice a month for three to five years.

Because of the possibility for some side effects, such as systemic and localized reactions, immunotherapy takes place in a doctor’s office.

Who Is a Candidate for Immunotherapy?

You and your doctor should discuss whether allergy shots are an option for you. If you have tried other treatments and they have been ineffective, or if you want to take fewer allergy symptom medications, you may want to try a more permanent solution. People who get allergy shots often find allergy season hits them hard and detracts from their overall quality of life.

Both adults and children over the age of five can receive immunotherapy, but you may have specific health factors that may lead you and your physician to proceed with caution. If you are a candidate and willing to put in the time and commitment, you will likely experience long-term allergy relief.

Allergy Doctors in Arkansas

The physicians at Arkansas Allergy and Asthma Clinic can answer your questions about allergy shots in Little Rock or Conway. Contact us online or call (501) 227-5210 to make an appointment and learn more.