Allergy Shots Frequently Asked Questions
What is allergen immunotherapy?
Allergen immunotherapy (also called allergy shots) is a long-term treatment for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma, conjunctivitis, or stinging insect allergy.
How do allergy shots work?
Allergen immunotherapy works through a process called desensitization. You receive small amounts of the allergens that trigger your symptoms in increasing amounts slowly over time. This process is like a vaccine and helps build immunity to the allergens you are allergic to. Over time your body will no longer react to the allergens.
What allergies can be treated with immunotherapy?
Allergy shots can be used to treat allergies to pollen, mold, dust mites, animal dander, and stinging insects.
How long does the treatment take?
Treatment will last for 5 years. This is comprised of several months of weekly injections at the start of treatment followed by monthly maintenance injections for the remainder of treatment.
How long until I feel better?
Many people will start to feel a difference in their symptoms as soon as 3 to 4 months after starting treatment.
How long do the effects last?
For most people, this treatment provides long-term relief of allergy symptoms and additional treatment is not needed.
What are the risks?
Common side effects include itching, swelling, and redness at the injection site, or increased allergy symptoms on the day of the injection. Serious allergic reactions are rare but can include hives or difficulty breathing and possibly anaphylaxis. Our team is trained in allergic emergency response and all necessary supplies and medication to treat a severe reaction are available at our office.
When can I start?
The allergen extract is tailored to each individual based on your specific allergic triggers. For this reason, it can take 1 to 2 weeks to prepare your extract. As soon as it is ready a member of our staff will contact you to set up your first injection visit.