They’re Not Just For Seasonal Allergies
Allergy shots can be effective for people with hay fever and other seasonal allergies, but they can also work for year-round indoor allergieslike mold, dust mites, and animal danderand allergies to insect bites or stings.
“In the case of stinging insects, the shots can be close to curative,” says Dr. Dziadzio. “That’s the one time I really push people to get the shots no matter what, because it’s such a dangerous allergy.” Allergy shots may also be a good choice for people who don’t like taking medications or can’t avoid the thing they’re allergic tolike a pet or the great outdoors.
Redness Or Swelling At The Injection Site
Anytime you pierce the skin and put something into the body it can cause a topical reaction, says Dr. Adalja. This is just a sign that your immune system is activating.
But this redness and swelling where you get your shot is a common side effect that only typically lasts a few days. Itll go away on its own, but if its really bugging you, you can take ibuprofen or acetominophen .
What’s New With The 2021
There are many types of flu virusesand each consistently changes. This means that the U.S. flu vaccines are reviewed every year to prevent against the currently circulating flu viruses. This year’s vaccines are all “quadrivalent,” according to the CDC, meaning they’re designed to protect against four different viruses that cause the flu.
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How Well Do The Treatments Work
If you stick with allergy shots long enough, thereâs a good chance youâll see improvement or even an end to your allergy symptoms. About 85% of people with hay fever who get this type of treatment say their allergy symptoms get better.
âThatâs one of the things I find pretty neat as an allergist,â Wada says. âTypically, a lot of the treatments we have are geared toward treating the symptoms. This is one of the few things we have toward the root of the problem.â
Sublingual treatments havenât been studied as much as allergy shots. They havenât been shown to work as well as allergy shots. But if youâre up for the commitment of taking the medicine day in, day out, as prescribed, it might be an option to explore for the specific allergies it targets.
Itching At The Injection Site Or A Full
This would signal an allergic reaction, but its very rare to have an allergic reaction to the flu shot, Dr. Adalja notes. There are lots of myths about egg allergies and the vaccine,” he explainsbecause most flu shots and nasal sprays are manufactured using technology that involves small amounts of egg proteins, per the CDC.
“If you can eat scrambled eggs, youre not going to have a problem with the flu shot, Dr. Adalja says. If you have a confirmed egg allergy, you can likely still get the shot, the CDC says.
The caveat: If you experience severe itching at injection site, a rash all over your body, or signs of anaphylactic shock, seek immediate medical attention. And if youve had an allergic reaction to the flu shot in the past, you are among those few groups of people who the CDC recommends skip the flu shot.
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Things To Try If Your Allergies Are Worse Than Ever This Year
If youre really feeling it this allergy season, well, gesundheit. From sneezing to congestion to itchy eyeballs to a relentless runny nose, there are plenty of signs that allergy season is upon us and youre unfortunately one of its victims.
There are a host of factors that affect the strength allergy season not just from year to year, but from day to day, saidLuz Fonacier, an allergist and immunologist and president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Among these factors are climate change, rainfall and even wind.
Since so many factors contribute to high pollen counts, its all but impossible to predict how intense an allergy season will be, Fonacier told HuffPost. In addition to taking steps to limit your exposure to allergens that affect you, seeing an allergist before the season starts can also help ensure you find relief.
For many, the last few weeks have been miserable. Before reaching for over-the-counter allergy relief, its important to get a diagnosis, Fonacier said. An allergist has advanced training and experience to properly diagnose your condition, identify your triggers and prescribe an allergy treatment and management plan to help you feel better and live better.
So on your next trip to the pharmacy, be ready. The following tips and items may help mitigate the many annoyances that come with seasonal allergies, so they might be worth a try.
Fatigue For 2 Days After Shot
Fatigue was one of my main allergy symptoms so its not a surprise that Im easily worn out after a shot. I think my immune system goes into overdrive when I receive the shot and makes me tired.
The fatigue is manageable but Ive learned to not schedule my shot around important work events, presentations, or meetings.
I asked my allergists about this side effect and they didnt say it was common, however, its important to understand that people experience different allergy symptoms and reactions to allergy shots.
Once I reached maintenance dose, my fatigue became less problematic. Needless to say, I have much more energy now!
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What Are Alternative Routes To Allergy Shots
Although allergy shots are the most common form of immunotherapy in the U.S., some other methods of allergen-specific therapy have been investigated and proven effective in controlled studies.
- Nasal immunotherapy: Allergens are sprayed onto the nasal mucosa. This technique is not currently available or FDA-approved, though it appears to be effective. Clinical trials have revealed frequent local side effects.
- Sublingual Oral immunotherapy : Allergens are orally ingested. This technique has proven effective in some studies, and three products are FDA-approved. Oral immunotherapy offers some promise as a future treatment for food allergy as well.
How Much Do Allergy Shots Cost
Health insurance typically covers allergy shots. You may have to pay a copay for each visit. Copays are usually nominal fees.
If you dont have health insurance, have a high deductible, or if allergy shots arent covered under your plan, you may end up spending thousands of dollars a year.
One large 2019 study looked at the costs of allergy shots for people with commercial insurance or Medicare Advantage with Part D. Researchers examined data gathered between 2013 and 2015.
- The cost of allergy shots for 131,493 people totaled $253,301,575. This averages out to around $1,926 per person.
- People with allergies covered about 19 percent of the total costs, while insurers covered about 81 percent.
- On average, treatment lasted 463.1 days .
Before beginning any treatment, talk with your doctor about payment options and costs.
Keep in mind that allergy shots are a long-term commitment. They require many injections, so youll want to plan accordingly if youre paying out of pocket.
Also consider that, over time, allergy shots could save you money on sick visits and over-the-counter allergy medications.
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They’re Not Recommended For Everyone
Most adultsand children ages 5 and upcan get allergy shots. But if you or your child has severe, uncontrolled asthma, your doctor may recommend against them. “In our practice, if a patient’s asthma is flaring or even if they’re sick, we generally wait to give the shot until they’re feeling better,” says Dr. Dziadzio.
Women who become pregnant while in the maintenance phase of allergy shots can continue their treatment. But women shouldn’t start allergy shots for the first time, or increase their dosage, while pregnant.
Certain medicines, like beta blockers, can reduce the effectiveness of epinephrinethe lifesaving drug used to treat anaphylactic shock. Because anaphylaxis is a rare but serious risk for people getting allergy shots, they may not be recommended for people who take these drugs.
Signs Of A More Serious Reaction
“A very small percentage of people can have a true allergic reaction to the vaccine, including chest tightness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, facial or throat swelling and redness of the eyes,” Teague says. If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately. Teague says severe allergic reactions usually happen within a few hours of getting the flu shot.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction, according to the CDC, can include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling around the eyes or lips
- A fast heartbeat or dizziness
Another possible reaction is an infection where the shot was administered. “Patients can also develop an infection at the injection site, which is manifested as worsening redness, swelling, warmth and tenderness,” Teague says. You should also seek immediate medical attention for this type of reaction.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
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Potential Reactions To Allergy Shots
Every patient must wait 20 minutes after their shot before leaving the clinic. When a new vial is started, patients will be given a skin test. If the test is negative, we will administer the injection. Reactions are rare but are possible, so every patient must wait 20 minutes prior to leaving the clinic.
Patients who are undergoing treatment have been asked to fill a prescription for an Epinephrine Injector . As a delayed reaction may occur up to two hours after injection, a Wake ENT staff member will show each patient undergoing treatment how to use their Epi-Pen should it ever be necessary to do so.
If an injection is skipped, we may not be able to advance patients to their next dose at their next visit.
The Bottom Line On Flu Shots And Side Effects
It’s normal to feel soreness, redness, tenderness, or even develop a mild fever or body aches during the two days after you get vaccinatedthats just your immune response, not the flu illness itself.
So theres no reason to avoid getting the flu shot because you think itll make you sick. Unless you have severe or life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredients in it, you should roll up your sleeves for one each year, the CDC says .
Getting sick with the flu is more dangerous than many people think. While most people will recover, some people can develop complications from the influenza virus, which can include sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, and inflammation of the heart , brain , or muscle . It can even be deadly.
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What Do Allergy Shots Treat
Allergy shots are an extremely effective treatment for allergies and asthma. The allergy and asthma specialists at The Asthma Center use allergy shots injections to treat allergic patients who have moderate to severe symptoms of upper respiratory allergies, allergic asthma, or insect sting reactions not adequately controlled by environmental avoidance or medications.
They Contain Allergens So Reactions Can Happen
Allergy shots work by exposing patients to tiny amounts of whatever it is they’re allergic to. The amount of allergen in each injection increases gradually over time so the body can build up a tolerance.
“It changes the person’s immune system from having a bad reaction to pretty much ignoring the allergen,” says Dr. Dziadzio. “For some people, it decreases their allergies enough so they can come off medicine entirely, and for some it helps their medicines be more effective.”
But because allergens are involved, reactions to the shots themselves are possible. These can range from swelling and itching at the injection site to sneezing and a runny nose, to, in rare cases, anaphylactic shock. That’s why it’s recommended that patients stay at their doctor’s office for 30 minutes after each shot so they can be monitored and treated for reactions if they do occur.
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They Can Make Asthma And Eczema Better
When people think of allergy symptoms, they generally think of itchy eyes and a stuffy or runny nose, or, in worse-case scenarios, anaphylactic shock. And while allergy shots can help prevent all of those, they can also help with related conditions, as well.
If you have asthma, getting your allergies under control may also help reduce flare-ups, improve your breathing, and reduce your need for medications. Eczema, an inflammatory skin condition, is often associated with environmental allergies.
What Exactly Are Allergy Shots
Allergieswhether they’re seasonal or year-roundcan put a serious damper on quality of life in some cases, they can even be deadly. But for certain types of allergies, allergen immunotherapy can be a big help.
They may require a lot of time and effort, but the benefits of allergy shots can be life-changing and long-lasting for people of all ages. Their effectiveness for children and young adults is well known, and a 2016 study also found that they can be effective for older adults, as wellreducing symptoms of hay fever in people ages 65 to 75 by 55% after three years, and reducing the need for medication by 64%.
“Everyone is different, and it’s true that some people don’t have a good response,” Laura Dziadzio, MD, a pediatric allergist and assistant professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, tells Health. “But for others, it’s like night and day. I have lots of patients who were really miserable and are now doing much better, and can finally enjoy the things they couldn’t before.”
If you’ve tested positive for an allergy and are considering immunotherapy treatments, here are 10 things you should know.
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Allergy Dos And Don’ts: Drink Alcohol
When you’ve got a bad cold or flu, probably the last thing you want is a drink. So is drinking alcohol an allergy do or don’t? It’s a don’t especially if you are taking sedating antihistamines for your allergy symptoms. “First, you can have a double-sedating effect from the alcohol combined with the antihistamine,” says Novey. “Second, alcohol tends to cause redness and swelling of the same tissues that are affected by allergies, making them feel worse.”
How Long To I Have To Keep Getting My Allergy Shots
There are two phases to allergy shot therapy: a build-up phase and a maintenance phase.
- Build-up phase: In this phase you will start with a low dose injection and build to a higher dose of allergens over time. For typical immunotherapy this phase lasts from 6 to 10 months, depending on how often you get your shots and how well you tolerate them. The build-up phase for venom therapy generally lasts for 10 weeks.
- Maintenance phase: When you reach your effective therapeutic dose you will begin the maintenance phase. During this phase you receive your allergy shots less often, usually every 3 to 4 weeks. The maintenance phase typically lasts 3-5 years .
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What Kind Of Allergy Shots Do I Need
The kind of shot you get depends on what youre allergic to. Before starting treatment, youll be tested to identify exactly what substances trigger your symptoms and determine what goes into your treatment.
For example, if you experience a lot of symptoms in the spring, you may have a pollen allergy. Youll be tested to determine exactly what type of pollen your immune system is reacting to. Your immunologist will then formulate allergy shots that are made just for you.
What If I Have More Questions
If youre still wondering, Are allergy shots worth it?, the immunologists at Florida Medical Clinic are here to help. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Daniel Reichmuth in Land OLakes, Wesley Chapel or Zephyrhills, FL, please .
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping medications.
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What Are The Benefits Of Allergy Shots
You might be cured of your allergies.
You may need less allergy medicine.
You may be sick less often and miss less work or school because of illness.
You may feel better in general.
The shots may stop children from getting other allergies.
The shots may stop children with allergies from getting asthma.
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Misconceptions About Stomach Flu
Is the stomach flu really flu?
No. Many people use the term stomach flu to describe illnesses with nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms can be caused by many different viruses, bacteria or even parasites. While vomiting, diarrhea, and being nauseous or sick to your stomach can sometimes be related to flu more commonly in children than adults these problems are rarely the main symptoms of influenza. Flu is a respiratory disease and not a stomach or intestinal disease.
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Can Allergy Shots Make You Sick
Everyone tolerates allergy shots differently. In fact, some people might not tolerate them at all.
Ive never been sick from allergy shots, but I have noticed that if I have a cold or the flu and I get an allergy shot my cold or flu will worsen significantly.
Im not a doctor so I would never answer this question definitively but think about the situation. With allergy shots youre being injected with things your body regards as harmful.
Frequent shots eventually teach your immune system to settle down and stop reacting so strongly.
The tips that Ive used with my allergist:
- Reschedule if youre under stress at work
- Reschedule if youre ill from a cold or flu
- Understand that the shots will exhaust your immune system for a day or two after the shot
- Communicate to your allergist if you feel the shots are too strong
- Communicate to your allergist your reactions
- Keep a journal its useful to look back on and understand if a reaction is normal or out of the ordinary.