Are you tired of taking daily medication only to still suffer from allergies in Tyler, Texas? If so, an allergy treatment called immunotherapy may be just what you are looking for.
Immunotherapy is used as a long-term treatment for seasonal, indoor and insect sting allergies. Allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy) are the most common form of this type of allergy treatment.
Allergy shots work by getting your body used to the allergen slowly, in the hope that you will develop an immunity or tolerance to the allergen. The process takes place in two phases, the build-up phase and the maintenance phase. The build-up phase involves a small amount of the allergen being injected into the upper arm once or twice a week for a few months. The dosage is gradually increased at each visit. The length of the build-up phase depends entirely on your body’s reaction. Once your allergist has decided you have reached the effective dose, typically the most you can handle without showing symptoms, the maintenance phase will begin. The dosage is no longer increased at each visit, and the number of shots is decreased. The maintenance phase involves an allergy shot once every month for three to five years.
Those whose symptoms are not well controlled through medications or those who want to reduce their long-term use of medications are the ideal candidates for immunotherapy.
Since allergy shots contain a substance you are allergic to, there are some risks involved. Swelling and redness usually develop at the site of injection but are quick to clear up. Sneezing, nasal congestion and hives may develop as well as more severe reactions such as wheezing or chest tightness. Anaphylaxis, the most serious reaction, rarely occurs. Since these shots are administered in a Tyler allergy clinic, any reaction that does occur can be easily treated.
Unlike oral medications, allergy symptoms will not improve overnight. Symptoms typically improve over the first year of treatment and continue to improve over the next few years. The shots may even decrease symptoms for other allergens and prevent new allergies from developing.
Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) is an alternative to allergy shots and can be used to treat allergies to specific grass pollens and ragweed. Tablets are placed under the tongue for one to two minutes and then swallowed as they dissolve. The process is repeated three to seven days a week for at least three years. You can receive the same results from SLIT as you would from traditional allergy shots, and there are fewer side effects. After the first dose, the tablets are even safe enough to be taken at home.
If you are interested in a real solution to your allergies, contact your Tyler allergist at ENT Tyler for more information or to find out if immunotherapy is right for you.