What You Should Know About Allergy Shots

allergy shots information

About a third of all Americans suffer from allergies caused by insects, pollen, mold, and dust mites. However, when it comes to dealing with allergies, the best solution is obvious to experienced allergists at Allergy Asthma & Immunology Institute, but largely avoided by the people who need it. Allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy, is practically the most effective way of providing long term relief from allergies. Each injection exposes a patient to higher doses of an allergen with the aim of making the body resistant to it. Therefore, allergy shots deal with the root causes of allergies, as opposed to antihistamines and other allergy medications that treat the symptoms. Below are some important things you should know about allergy shots. 

They May Be Cheaper 

Taking one-a-day medication may be more expensive compared to allergy shots. This is because most antihistamines used to treat common allergies are no longer covered by most insurance policies. Besides, these medications may have to be used throughout a person's life, while shots will only be administered for three to five years. Therefore, although the initial costs of allergy shots may seem higher than that of buying antihistamines, the fact that allergy shots are going to give you long term relief makes them more affordable in the long run. 

Safety Concerns 

Allergy shots pose the minimum risk of severe allergic reactions. However, when they are correctly administered with slowly increasing doses, they are very safe. This is why allergen immunotherapy can take up to five years. However, it is advisable for people with severe asthma or heart disease to stay away from allergy shots. Although the shots can continue being administered during pregnancy, they should never be started during pregnancy. 

They Are Effective 

Most physicians acknowledge that antihistamines have some significant, fairly modest benefits. But compared to allergy medication, the degree of benefits of allergy shots is more substantial. In spite of their effectiveness, allergy shots are not very popular, and most of the patients ignore them altogether. Studies show that about two-thirds of allergy patients would never consider going in for allergy shots. 

Why Do People Avoid Allergy Shots 

There are a number of reasons why most people stay away from allergy shots. One of the most common reasons has to do with the tests that have to be done. The tests involve exposure to different allergens to determine the ones that you are allergic to. Another reason why people avoid the shots is the amount of time involved. You may have to undergo about five months of weekly shots followed by a number of years of monthly shots to build resistance. Some people also avoid the shots due to the pain that comes with each injection. 

The Takeaway 

Overall, it is apparent that although allergy shots are not very popular with people who are suffering from allergies, they are quite effective in treating allergies. Therefore, if you are looking for long-term relief from an allergy, going in for allergy shots is the most appropriate step that you can take.

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