December 11, 2022

Should You Get Allergy Shots? Here's What You Need to Know

If you’re considering allergy shots, you’re not alone. More and more people are turning to this form of treatment to find relief from their allergies.

If you’re considering allergy shots, you’re not alone. More and more people are turning to this form of treatment to find relief from their allergies.

Allergies are a very common issue in the United States, with over 50 million people struggling with them. Allergens, which are substances that can cause an abnormal bodily response, can come from many different sources, including the environment, medication, and food. 

Allergic reactions to these substances can cause various problems, including respiratory issues, skin irritation, and anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe reaction that can lead to shock, a weak pulse, and nausea.

Allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, is a type of treatment that can help reduce your symptoms by increasing your tolerance to the allergens that trigger them.

The shots are usually given over the course of several years and can be an effective way to reduce your reliance on medications and improve your quality of life.

If you’re thinking about allergy shots, here’s what you need to know.

What Are Allergy Shots?

Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy. They work by exposing you to small amounts of the allergens that trigger your symptoms. Over time, this exposure can help increase your tolerance to the allergens and reduce your symptoms.

Allergy shots are usually given in a series of shots over the course of several years. The shots are typically given once a week for the first few months and then every two to four weeks after that.

The allergens used in the shots are typically derived from pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and mold. The shots can be customized to your specific allergies.

How Do Allergy Shots Work?

Allergy shots work by increasing your tolerance to the allergens that trigger your symptoms. The shots contain small amounts of the allergens, which are gradually increased over time.

The immunotherapy can help “re-train” your immune system so that it no longer overreacts to the allergens. This can help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

What Happens During an Allergy Shot?

Allergy shots are given in a doctor’s office or other medical facilities.

The shots are usually given once a week for the first few months and then once a month for the next few years.

The shots contain a small amount of the allergen that you’re allergic to.

The amount of allergen in the shot is increased over time until you’re receiving the full dose.

The shots can cause a mild reaction, such as redness, swelling, or itchiness at the injection site.

Rarely, the shots can cause a more severe reaction, such as hives, wheezing, or chest tightness.

If you have a severe reaction, you’ll be monitored for a short time after the shot and may be given medication to treat the reaction.

Allergy shots are not recommended for people with a history of severe reactions to the shots.

Who are Good Candidates for Allergy Shots?

An allergy shot is not right for everyone. A board certified allergist will determine if you are a good candidate for allergy shots.

People who are good candidates for allergy shots have the following:

  • Allergies that can’t be controlled with medication
  • Allergies that occur year-round or seasonally
  • Allergies that cause severe symptoms
  • Allergies that affect quality of life

People who are not good candidates for allergy shots include:

  • Children under the age of 3
  • People with uncontrolled asthma
  • People with severe allergies that have caused a severe reaction in the past
  • People with uncontrolled bleeding disorders
  • People with severe heart problems
  • People with severe lung problems
  • People who are pregnant
  • People who are taking certain kinds of medications, such as beta blockers
  • People who have a history of severe reactions to allergy shots
  • People who have a history of fainting
  • People who have a history of bleeding disorders
  • People who have a history of cancer

What are the Benefits of Getting Allergy Shots?

1. Allergy Shots Can Be Very Effective

Allergy shots can be an effective way to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, up to 85 percent of people who receive immunotherapy will see a significant reduction in their symptoms.

2. Allergy Shots are Safe

Allergy shots are considered to be a safe treatment option for most people.

The most common side effect is redness, swelling, and itchiness at the injection site, which is usually mild and goes away on its own.

Rarely, people may experience a more severe reaction, such as hives, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.

If you have a history of severe reactions to shots, your doctor may recommend that you take medication before each injection to help prevent a reaction.

3. Allergy Shots Can Save You Money in the Long Run

If you’re taking multiple medications to control your allergy symptoms, allergy shots can save you money in the long run.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the average cost of allergy shots is $1,500 per year.

This may seem like a lot, but it’s less than the cost of many allergy medications, which can range from $500 to $1,000 per year.

4. Allergy Shots are Convenient

Allergy shots are usually given in the doctor’s office or clinic, which means you don’t have to go out of your way to get them.

The shots are usually given once a week for the first few months, and then the frequency is decreased as your tolerance to the allergens increases.

After a year or two, most people only need to get shots every two to four weeks.

5. Allergy Shots Can Improve Your Quality of Life

If you suffer from severe allergies, allergy shots can be a godsend.

They can help you feel better and improve your quality of life.

Allergy shots can help you:

  • Reduce or eliminate your need for medication
  • Reduce your risk of developing sinus infections, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections
  • Reduce your risk of developing asthma
  • Reduce your risk of having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Make it easier to breathe
  • Make it easier to sleep
  • Help you feel more energetic
  • Help you concentrate better
  • Help you be more productive at work or school
  • Help you participate in activities you enjoy

If you’re considering allergy shots, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.

They can help you decide if they’re right for you.

How to Assess if You're a Good Candidate for an Allergy Shot

Here are five ways to assess if you're a good candidate for allergy shots

1. Are You Tired of Using Allergy Medication?

If you're like most people with allergies, you've probably tried various over-the-counter and prescription medications to find relief. And while these medications can be helpful, they don't always provide complete relief. Allergy shots, on the other hand, can provide long-term relief from your allergies.

2. Are You Looking for a More Long-Term Solution to Your Allergies?

If you’re looking for a more long-term solution to your allergies, allergy shots may be a good option for you. Allergy shots can provide you with long-term relief from your allergies and can help you to avoid having to use medication regularly.

3. Are You Willing to Commit to Getting Allergy Shots for at Least Three Years?

If you’re considering allergy shots, you need to be willing to commit to getting them for at least three years. Allergy shots are not a quick fix for your allergies, and it will take time for them to be effective.

4. Are You Willing to See an Allergist for Regular Checkups?

If you’re considering allergy shots, you need to be willing to see an allergist for regular checkups. Allergy shots require close monitoring, and you will need to see an allergist regularly to make sure that they are working properly.

5. Do You Have a Severe Allergy that Could be Life-Threatening?

If you have a severe allergy that could be life-threatening, you may be a good candidate for allergy shots. Allergy shots can help to prevent severe reactions and can provide you with long-term relief from your allergies.

What are the Side Effects of Allergy Shots?

It’s normal to experience some side effects after getting an allergy shot. It’s normal to experience some side effects after getting an allergy shot.

Most people who receive allergy shots experience very few side effects.

The most common side effects are localized redness and swelling at the injection site. These side effects usually go away on their own within a few hours.

Other possible side effects of allergy shots include:

  • hives
  • headache
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • stomach pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea

These side effects are usually mild and go away on their own. However, if you experience a severe allergic reaction, you should get medical attention immediately.

Severe reactions can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling in your throat or tongue
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • a rapid or irregular heartbeat

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately.

Rare Side Effects of Getting Allergy Shots

There are some rare side effects that can occur after getting allergy shots. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away:

  • a rapid, weak pulse
  • a rapid, shallow breathing
  • dizziness
  • sweating
  • a pale or blue appearance
  • convulsions
  • loss of consciousness

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek medical help immediately.

If you are allergic to eggs, you should know that the vaccine may contain a small amount of egg protein. If you are allergic to latex, you should know that the vaccine may contain latex.

How to Prepare for Allergy Shots

If you are planning to get allergy shots, you should talk to your doctor about how to prepare for them. You should also tell your doctor about any other allergies or medical conditions that you have.

If you have any other allergies, you should tell your doctor before getting allergy shots. You should also tell your doctor if you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.

Your doctor may need to do a skin test to make sure you are not allergic to the vaccine. You may need to stop taking certain medications before getting allergy shots.

Your doctor will tell you how to prepare for allergy shots.

What Does the Process of Getting an Allergy Shot Look Like?

The process of getting allergy shots is usually broken down into three phases:

Buildup phase. This is the first phase of allergy shots. In this phase, you’ll receive shots that contain small amounts of your allergen (or allergens) on a weekly or biweekly basis. The amount of allergen in each shot is gradually increased over time.

Maintenance phase. Once the dosage of your allergen has reached a certain level, you’ll enter the maintenance phase. In this phase, you’ll receive shots that contain the same amount of allergen on a monthly basis.

Booster phase. The booster phase is the final phase of allergy shots. Once you’ve reached the maintenance phase and you’re no longer experiencing symptoms, you’ll be able to reduce the frequency of your allergy shots. In some cases, you may even be able to stop your shots altogether.

How Much Do Allergy Shots Cost?

The cost of allergy shots will vary depending on your insurance coverage and the number of shots you need.

Some insurance companies cover allergy shots, but many do not. In some cases, your insurance company may cover the cost of the shots if you can prove that you’ve tried other treatments and they haven’t worked.

If you don’t have insurance, you can expect to pay about $100 for each shot. The total cost of the shots will depend on the number of shots you need.

Conclusion

If you're considering getting allergy shots, there are a few things you should know. Allergy shots are not a quick fix - they can take several years to be effective. They also require a time commitment, as you'll need to come in for shots every week or two.

There are some risks associated with allergy shots, but they are generally considered to be safe. The most common side effect is a local reaction at the injection site.

If you have severe allergies, are not responding to other treatments, and are willing to commit to the time and effort required, allergy shots may be a good option for you.

Are you on Google looking up "allergy immunotherapy near me"? You've come to the right place! Curex helps you stop allergies at the source by offering a convenient alternative to time-consuming allergy shots. Curex’s at-home sublingual immunotherapy is easy to administer and may be done so in the comfort of your own home. You won’t need to travel to a doctor’s office weekly to receive doses, and sublingual immunotherapy may be less expensive than allergy shots if paying out of pocket.

Take our free quiz to find out if at-home immunotherapy is right for you. Or, contact one of our care managers to find out more.

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