Allergy Shot Benefits: Adult Immunotherapy Explained

Manoukian, MD, FAAAI, FACAAI
February 25, 2024
June 10, 2024

Allergies are a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. From seasonal pollen allergies to year-round dust mite sensitivities, allergies can significantly impact one’s quality of life. While many rely on over-the-counter medications to manage their symptoms, there’s a more effective solution for long-term relief: allergy shots, also known as sublingual immunotherapy. This blog post will delve into the benefits of allergy shots for adults, explaining how they work, their advantages, and why they might be the right choice for you.

Understanding Allergies and Their Impact

Before diving into the specifics of allergy shots, it’s essential to understand what allergies are and how they affect the body. Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to a harmless substance, such as pollen, pet dander, or dust mites. This reaction triggers symptoms like sneezing, itching, congestion, and even more severe reactions such as asthma attacks.

For many adults, managing allergies involves daily antihistamines or nasal sprays, which only provide temporary relief. These treatments do not address the underlying cause of allergies, leading to ongoing discomfort and disruption in daily life. This is where allergy shots come into play.

What Are Allergy Shots?

Allergy shots, or sublingual immunotherapy, are a form of treatment that targets the root cause of allergic reactions. This therapy involves regular injections or sublingual drops that contain small amounts of the allergens causing the symptoms. Over time, the immune system becomes desensitized to these allergens, reducing or eliminating allergic reactions.

How Do Allergy Shots Work?

The process of allergy immunotherapy is divided into two phases: the build-up phase and the maintenance phase.

Build-Up Phase

During the build-up phase, patients receive increasing doses of the allergen. This phase typically lasts three to six months, with injections given one to two times per week. The goal is to gradually increase the body’s tolerance to the allergen.

Maintenance Phase

Once the effective dose is reached, patients enter the maintenance phase, where they receive injections less frequently, usually every two to four weeks. This phase can last for three to five years, depending on the individual’s response to treatment.

Benefits of Allergy Shots for Adults

Allergy shots offer numerous benefits for adults suffering from chronic allergies. Here are some of the key advantages:

Long-Term Relief

Unlike over-the-counter medications that only provide temporary symptom relief, allergy shots address the underlying cause of allergies. This leads to long-term improvement and, in many cases, complete elimination of symptoms.

Reduced Medication Dependence

By effectively managing allergies, patients often find they no longer need daily antihistamines or other allergy medications. This reduces the risk of side effects associated with long-term medication use.

Improved Quality of Life

Chronic allergies can significantly impact daily life, causing fatigue, poor sleep, and decreased productivity. Allergy shots can alleviate these symptoms, leading to better overall health and quality of life.

Prevention of New Allergies

Allergy shots can also prevent the development of new allergies. By strengthening the immune system’s response to allergens, patients are less likely to develop additional sensitivities.

Effective for Multiple Allergens

Allergy shots are particularly beneficial for individuals allergic to multiple substances. By customizing the treatment to include various allergens, patients can experience comprehensive relief from their symptoms.

Who Can Benefit from Allergy Shots?

Allergy shots are suitable for adults with moderate to severe allergies that are not well-controlled with medications. They are particularly effective for individuals with:

• Seasonal allergies (hay fever)

• Indoor allergies (dust mites, mold, pet dander)

• Insect sting allergies

However, not everyone is a candidate for allergy shots. Individuals with certain medical conditions or those taking specific medications should consult with an allergist to determine if immunotherapy is appropriate for them.

The Process of Getting Allergy Shots

The journey to receiving allergy shots begins with a thorough evaluation by an allergist. This includes a detailed medical history, physical examination, and allergy testing to identify the specific allergens causing symptoms.

Allergy Testing

Allergy testing can be performed through skin prick tests or blood tests. Skin prick tests involve placing small amounts of allergens on the skin and observing the reaction. Blood tests measure the presence of allergen-specific antibodies in the blood.

Customizing the Treatment

Based on the results of the allergy tests, the allergist will develop a customized treatment plan. This plan outlines the specific allergens to be included in the shots and the dosage schedule for the build-up and maintenance phases.

Regular Monitoring

Throughout the treatment, regular follow-up visits with the allergist are essential. These visits ensure the treatment is effective and allow for adjustments to the dosage if necessary.

Why Choose HeyAllergy for Your Allergy Shots?

At HeyAllergy, we specialize in personalized allergy treatment plans tailored to each individual’s needs. Our experienced allergists use the latest techniques in sublingual immunotherapy to provide safe and effective relief from allergies. Here are a few reasons to choose HeyAllergy:

Expert Care

Our team of board-certified allergists has extensive experience in diagnosing and treating allergies. We stay updated with the latest advancements in immunotherapy to offer the best care possible.

Convenient Telemedicine Services

We understand that busy schedules can make it challenging to attend regular appointments. HeyAllergy offers telemedicine services, allowing you to consult with our specialists from the comfort of your home.

Customized Treatment Plans

We believe that every patient is unique, and so are their allergies. Our personalized treatment plans are designed to address your specific allergens and provide the most effective relief.

Comprehensive Support

From initial testing to ongoing treatment, we provide comprehensive support throughout your allergy journey. Our goal is to help you achieve long-term relief and improve your quality of life.

Book Your Appointment Today

If you’re tired of dealing with chronic allergy symptoms and want a long-term solution, allergy shots might be the answer. At HeyAllergy, we’re committed to helping you find relief and enjoy a healthier, allergy-free life. Book your appointment today to start your journey towards better health.