All About Allergy Shots
Several types of trees in the South Jersey area are already producing pollen, kicking off this year’s spring allergy season. Resulting symptoms for those allergic to tree pollen – as well as other allergens – include sneezing, itchy, teary eyes, coughing and nasal congestion. What’s an allergy sufferer to do?
Most people have heard of allergy shots, but what exactly are they?
When an individual comes to an allergist with these kinds of symptoms, allergy skin prick testing is the widely accepted method used to determine which allergens are causing the symptoms. Once specific allergic sensitivities are identified, a customized allergy serum can be prepared and delivered via injection. There are two phases of immunotherapy, more commonly referred to as allergy shots. During the first phase, patients receive injections once a week, gradually receiving an increased strength of serum. Once the highest prescribed dose is reached, the second phase, maintenance, begins. Shots are tapered down to a monthly dose. Over the course of the treatment, symptoms will be greatly reduced, as the body becomes more accustomed to the presence of the allergens.
Because there is a possibility of allergic reaction following a shot, allergy injections must be given in a medically supervised setting, preferably in an allergist’s office. Immunotherapy treatment is covered by most insurance plans.