The Science Behind Allergy Shots and How They Work

An allergic person’s immune system overreacts to exposure to an allergen, which is what causes an allergic reaction. One of the primary medical treatments for allergies besides medications are allergy shots administered at regularly-scheduled intervals. At Arkansas Allergy and Asthma in Little Rock and Conway, you can receive allergy shots as part of your individually-tailored treatment plan.

Are Allergy Shots Necessary?

Adults and children who have only mild allergies may not need allergy shots. However, people co-diagnosed with asthma and allergies may experience lessened asthma symptoms if the allergies are treated regularly. Likewise, a person living with a moderate or severe allergy may acquire significant symptom relief via treatment with allergy shots.

According to the Mayo Clinic, allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy that contains just enough of the allergen to stimulate the immune system. Allergy shots are administered at periodic intervals over a 3-5 year period. This form of allergy treatment is aimed at reducing the person’s allergic response to particular pollen, animal dander, insect sting, mold, or dust mite.

Link Between Immunoglobulin E (IgE) and Allergies-not sure section this is relevant….

The over-production of immunoglobulin E (IgE) by the immune system is a chief causal factor for an allergic reaction. In turn, IgE activates specific antibodies linked to a given allergen in a person’s body. In some people, more than one allergen can produce an IgE-mediated reaction.

Factors Affecting the Decision to Undergo Allergy Shots

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology  has created a list of factors for consideration when deciding whether allergy shots are appropriate, which are as follows:

  • Amount of exposure to specific allergens
  • The severity of allergy symptoms
  • The effectiveness of environmental controls (preventative measures) and/or medications in controlling symptoms
  • Patient’s desire to avoid long-term medication use
  • Patient’s time available for treatment (i.e., availability for periodic appointments)

Our doctors at Arkansas Allergy and Asthma will work with you to determine the best treatment plan to meet your needs. Set up an appointment with us to see if allergy shots are right for you.

Treatment Options for Dust Mite Allergies

Around 10 percent of people in the US are allergic to dust mites. These are tiny insects that live in house dust, and can cause distress in the upper respiratory tract. For children and adults with asthma, a dust mite allergy can worsen asthma symptoms. Even if the person with a dust mite allergy does not have asthma, the symptoms can interfere with normal, everyday activities. Common symptoms of a dust mite allergy include chronic post-nasal drip, runny nose, sinus pressure, and a persistent cough.

Since symptoms mimic a head cold or bronchitis, an allergy test can help determine if you have an environmental allergy is contributing to your symptoms.  To avoid dust mites, it may be necessary to clean your house more often or in a different manner. Antihistamines are the usual treatment for people with a mild-to-moderate dust mite allergy. However, there are other pharmaceutical treatment options, including nasal corticosteroids, decongestants, and allergy shots.

The Answer to “Is There an Allergy Clinic Near Me?”

At Arkansas Allergy and Asthma, we strive to be your first choice for treatment of your allergy and asthma symptoms. Our clinicians will work with you to manage your allergy symptoms, and provide the treatment you need to do so. Request an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Little Rock or Conway today, and let us help you formulate a treatment plan that is right for you.