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Can You Get Sick From Allergy Shots

How Do Allergy Shots Help

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Allergy shots help the body build immunity to specific allergens, so it’s not as bothered by them. Allergy shots also can help kids who have allergies andasthma have fewer asthma flare-ups.

Allergy shots contain a tiny amount of a purified form of the allergen causing problems. Doctors increase the dose slowly over the first 36 months. This lets the immune system safely adjust and build immunity to the allergens. This is called the buildup phase.

The highest effective safe dose becomes a child’s monthly maintenance dose. Health care providers give this to the child for about 3 to 5 years. Most kids will need fewer shots over time.

Some kids’ allergy symptoms ease during the buildup phase. Others don’t feel better until they’re into the maintenance phase. After years of getting allergy shots, some may have lasting relief from symptoms.

Are Allergy Shots Right For You

While we recommend you visit your doctor or allergist to ascertain whether youre a good candidate for allergy shots, these questions will also help you decide:

  • What are your allergies? If youre allergic to one or more of the substances listed above, then allergy shots can help lessen your symptoms. However, if you have an allergy to latex, drugs, or certain foods, immunotherapy is not recommended.
  • How bad are your allergies? If symptoms persist for longer than three out of 12 months or are impacting your daily activities then allergy shots may provide more relief than other treatment methods.
  • What other treatments have you tried? If youre on a prescription antihistamine or another medication from an allergist but these dont help your symptoms, let your allergist know. They could recommend immunotherapy as your next treatment.
  • Are you okay with needles? If you have a severe fear of or significant discomfort associated with needles, then you might want to rethink allergy shots. While its true the injections become less frequent as the treatment goes on, it will take a while to get there. You may want to discuss sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT with your allergist. This treatment involves you taking tablets or drops under your tongue instead of receiving injections.

Changes In Your Health

If at any time during the course of your immunotherapy you develop a new medical condition, you become pregnant, or you start a new medication, please tell the nurse. In particular, high blood pressure or heart medications and certain antidepressants cannot be taken with allergy shots. You should not get your allergy shot if you are have a fever, rash, asthma symptoms, or increased allergy symptoms.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Allergy Shots

The side effects of allergy shots are usually minimal. Most commonly, patients will feel slight itching or swelling at the site of the injection. Other people may experience more severe allergy symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and hives. While rare, a person can have a serious reaction, like anaphylaxis, typically within 30 minutes after the shot is given. Therefore, waiting at an allergy office is required after an allergy shot is given. It is important for trained allergy staff to monitor patients after their allergy shots to ensure no reaction occurs.

Allergy Shots Are Effective

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Allergy shots are usually a very effective way of treating chronic allergies. It may take some time, but most people find that regular shots can help them when other common treatments havent worked. Studies show that 85% of people who suffer from hay fever see a reduction in their symptoms when they receive shots.

Many people avoid allergy shots because theyre afraid of injections. But the benefit is that the pain of an injection lasts just a moment ;while the relief of no more symptoms can last a lifetime.

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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.

How Long Do I Take Allergy Shots

A course of allergy shots often lasts 3-6 years. Allergy shots begin with a very low dose, then are built up gradually on a regular basis until a therapeutic or maintenance dose is achieved. The highest tolerated maintenance doses are given every 3 weeks. It is important to maintain allergy shots at the proper time interval. Missing allergy shots for a short vacation or for some other acute medical problem is acceptable.

You will be re-evaluated occasionally with skin testing while on allergy shots and subsequent changes in the extract or schedule may be necessary to obtain the best results. We will usually consider discontinuing injections when you have minimum symptoms and have a normal or near-normal exam for at least one year.

Most patients will continue to do well after stopping allergy shots, and some will have a slight increase in symptoms controllable with medications. A small number of patients, however, will require resumption of allergy injections. Other guidelines are used for stopping shots when used for asthma and insect sting reaction.

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Allergy Shots Effectiveness My Opinion

Are allergy shots effective? A few years ago, prior to starting allergy shots, I was in a horrible place.

I couldnt make it to work, I stopped socializing, and I stopped exercising. I became obsessive about controlling my environment and reducing any stress.

I didnt know what was causing me to feel bad and I didnt know what to do.

Thankfully I was allergy tested.

But that didnt solve the problem. The first allergist I visited didnt help me much.

He only tested me for a couple things and gave me allergy drops there was very little communication or explanation on his part. After that experience, if you were to ask if allergy immunotherapy is effective I would have said no.

Thankfully I was retested for allergies by a reputable allergist.

I received the full spectrum of tests and the process was explained to me. We decided on a way to move forward. I strongly believe that allergy shots are effective.

Over the past few years Ive reduced my allergy symptoms by about 80%. I can breathe through my nose and my eyes are less itchy.

My fatigue is gone. I only need 7 hours of sleep a night and I wake up energized and ready to go. Ive also been able to hold a job.

I suffered from allergies year-round, not just seasonally. I was desperate to find a solution and Ive followed the schedule outlined by my doctor.

Ive also be retested a few times to make sure the allergy shots are working.; Guess what? I no longer react to many of the allergens I first tested positive for.

Allergy Shots For Children

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As early as ages 3, kids can begin to develop seasonal allergies, leaving many parentswondering what is the best treatment? We also get asked often are allergy shots safe forchildren. Yes, they are, but this is something that needs to be discussed with your allergist.Children, like adults, sometimes develop a minor reaction near the site of the injectionimmediately after the allergy shot is given. Simply applying ice to the area and administering anantihistamine can reduce the swelling.

There are rare cases where children can have a more severe reaction, including hives, itchingacross the body, or difficulty breathing. These are less common but can occur. That is why itsbest to consult with your allergy specialist to determine if an allergy shot is appropriate for yourchild.

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Reactions To Allergy Shots

Reactions to allergy shots are common. Most reactions are local . Rarely, reactions can affect your entire body. This is referred to as a systemic reaction, and it can be dangerous. For this reason you must stay in our office for 30 minutes following every shot appointment. Additionally, you should not exercise for 2 hours after your shots.

If you are having asthma symptoms when you are scheduled for an allergy shot it is important to tell your nurse. Allergy shots can worsen asthma symptoms.

What Is Immunotherapy Is It The Same As Allergy Shots

Immunotherapy refers to treatment and management plans that train the immune system to act differently than it normally would. For example, treating your immune system not to react to allergens.

There are multiple types of immunotherapy used for allergies. Subcutaneous immunotherapy refers to immunotherapy that is done under the skin, via a shot. Subcutaneous immunotherapy, then, is another term for allergy shots. SCIT is a long-term treatment designed to reduce the severity of symptoms for allergy sufferers. For some, their allergies may even stop completely. This type of immunotherapy is considered the gold standard for allergy treatment.

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What Can I Do To Help Stop A Reaction

At each visit, tell the nurse any new information before you get the shot.

  • Report anything that happened after your last shot.

  • Report any new medicines you are taking.

  • Report any new medical problems or illnesses.

  • Report any flares of your allergies.

  • Report any flares of your asthma.

  • Report if you are pregnant.

Exercise increases your chance of having a serious reaction. You should not exercise for one hour before your shot or for two hours after the shot.

What Should I Expect Afterward

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Usually, youâll stay at the doctorâs office for about 30 minutes after you get an allergy shot. That’s to make sure you don’t get side effects like itchy eyes, shortness of breath, a runny nose, or a tight throat. If you get these symptoms after you leave, go back to your doctor’s office or to the nearest emergency room.

Redness, swelling, or irritation right around the site of the injection is normal. These symptoms should go away in 4 to 8 hours.

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Will My Allergies Be Cured

Allergies are not like a bacterial infection that is cured when bacteria are killed with antibiotics. Allergy symptoms are your immune systems response to otherwise harmless substances called allergens. Shots can help desensitize your immune system to these agents by inducing tolerance.

Some find their symptoms completely disappear and never return. Others may enjoy relief for several years before symptoms resurface. Your bodys response depends on your own immune system.

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.

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Who Needs A Flu Vaccine And When

For 2021-2022, CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate flu vaccine as an option for vaccination this season. These include:

  • Flu shots that are made with inactivated viruses.
  • One flu shot that is made without influenza viruses.
  • A live attenuated influenza vaccine, which is given by nasal spray.
  • Precautions Against Potential Side Effects

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    Because exercise can increase blood flow to the bodys tissues, it can also cause allergy extract from the allergy shot to be absorbed into the body faster. For this reason, patients should avoid strenuous exercise for one hour before and two hours after receiving an allergy shot. Additionally, patients should talk to their physician about any other medications or supplements that they may be taking as these may interfere with allergy shot treatment. Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should also consult their physician with respect to allergy shots. Allergy shots are covered by most insurance plans.

    Dr. Jeffrey Hallett administers allergy shots on a walk-in basis during specified hours Monday through Thursday. While appointments are not required, patients are urged to check the Allergy Injection Calendar at www.drhallett.com to view the most up-to-date schedule. Just look for the button that says Calendar.

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    They Can Take A Few Years To Really Work

    Allergy shots aren’t a quick fix: While some people may start to feel better during the build-up phase of their treatment, most people won’t experience noticeable improvement until they’ve been in the maintenance phase for six to 18 months, says Dr. Dziadzio.

    In fact, a 2017 British study found that it took three full years for allergy shots for hay fever to be more effective than placebo shots. The maintenance phase for most allergy shots is usually continued for three to five years. Some patients experience long-lasting relief after that, and some may need continued treatment.

    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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    Can Children Receive Treatment

    Yes, allergy shots are safe for kids. In fact, immunotherapy may help kids avoid developing other allergies or asthma as they get older.

    Immunotherapy is safe for children 5 years of age or older. They may be administered even earlier if a board-certified allergist or immunologist determines its appropriate.

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    “What you don’t want to do is let allergies run your life,” says Anju Peters, MD, an allergy specialist in the division of allergy and immunology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. “I would never tell a patient with allergies to stay home from work unless they had an asthma exacerbation,” she adds. Instead, she says to investigate good allergy treatment options.

    “If you have mild symptoms, try over-the-counter antihistamines, but stay away from the sedating ones,” Dr. Peters says. Instead, use non-sedating ones or try a saline rinse to wash allergens out of your nose.

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    How Immunotherapy Works

    Immunotherapy works like a vaccine. Each shot contains a small amount of the allergens that are causing your symptoms. The shots start at a low dosage and increase with time. The goal is to get your body to tolerate the allergen. A higher tolerance means fewer symptoms.

    Allergy shots are effective over time, as they require three to six months for symptoms to improve, and some people need shots for longer to get the maximum benefit. Your doctor works with you and monitors your progress. We develop an individualized plan and meet with you periodically to review your treatment. If your allergic symptoms are constant, you might need to see us every six to 12 months. Patients who are doing well can have treatment reviews once a year.

    After your shot, we ask that you stay in our office for 20 to 30 minutes to ensure that there are no reactions. On the off chance of a reaction, we ease your discomfort and adjust your dose so you have a smaller risk of reaction in the future.

    To make an appointment, call 216-778-2213.;;Referrals are not required.

    How Can Parents Help

    Doctors give allergy shots with needles that are smaller than those used for most childhood vaccinations, so they’re less painful. Still, for some kids a shot can seem scary. A parent’s positive and supportive attitude can help. Treatment goes much better when parents are confident and committed to the immunotherapy.

    While getting a shot, your child can squeeze your hand, sing a song, watch a video, or use another distraction that will take the focus off the injection.

    Understanding the benefits of allergy shots and how they work will help you and your child accept them as routine.

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    Reactions To Allergy Shots Pictures

    Ive included a few of my photos after allergy shots. The first allergy shot picture is the same day and is about 5 hours after the shot.

    I believe this is normal and nothing to worry about. Conversely, if there was no reaction at all Id think the shot was too weak.

    The second photo is the 2nd day after getting my shot. Notice the redness has significantly decreased.; By the 3rd day there is no mark.

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