Prepare For Spring Allergies Now
Winter is a great time to prepare for spring allergy season. If allergen immunotherapy is or has been recommended after your allergy skin tests, you can start building your bodys resistance to your specific allergic triggers now to reduce the impact these allergens have on you in the spring months.
We are happy to help you check your specific insurance plan benefits and if there are any referral requirements for your visits. If you have any questions about your insurance benefits or to schedule an appointment, please call . You may also Request An Appointment through our website.
How Do The Shots Work
Allergy shots help your body fight the allergen. When you get shots that contain the allergen, your immune system makes antibodies to the allergen. The next time you have contact with the allergen, these antibodies help block its effect. Because the antibodies block the way your body reacts to the allergen, your allergy symptoms become less severe. After many shots, you may start to get relief from your allergy symptoms. This relief will last for a long time.
Antihistamines Can Make Allergy Shots Easier
Taking an oral antihistamine before each shot can help reduce side effects and reactions. “We really encourage patients to take them beforehand, especially as they get closer to their maintenance dose and their local reactions can get pretty bad,” says Dr. Dziadzio.
And if that’s not enough reason to pop a pill beforehand, some research even suggests that pre-treatment with an antihistamine during the build-up phase of allergy shots can improve the shots’ effectiveness too.
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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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Allergists In San Mateo California’s Bay Area
People with allergies and asthma should know that there are many treatment options available that can help minimize symptoms, allow you to feel well, be active and live a healthy, productive life.
We are pleased you have chosen The Allergy & Asthma Clinic. We specialize in helping people who suffer from allergic disorders. We are committed to the best possible health care for all of our patients. We pride ourselves on paying lots of attention to those little details that we know can make a big difference. Our office is at 290 Baldwin, at the corner of Ellsworth,down the street from Mills Hospital. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get your allergy care at our office. If there are any concerns that were not answered during your visit, or if you have any questions about your treatment, we hope you will let us know.
How Many Shots Will I Have To Get
You will start getting shots one or two times each week. After about six months of weekly shots, your doctor will decide when you can start maintenance treatment. These shots are usually given just once each month, year round. You’ll probably need to get monthly shots for three to five years. Then you may be able to stop getting shots.
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What Should I Expect Afterward
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.
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.
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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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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.
- 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.
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.
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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 .
Allergy Shots For Your Child
You have allergies, and your doctor thinks allergy immunotherapy, or allergy shots, might help you feel better. The goal of allergy shots is to improve your allergy symptoms. But, there can be side effects. Those side effects are around the injection site, like pain, itching, bleeding, or swelling. Rarely, some people have a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If not treated right away, this type of reaction can be life-threatening. Because of this risk, you must wait in the office for 30 minutes after each shot. If you decide to get shots, we make your treatment by mixing your allergens in a vial just for you. Once your vial is ready, you come to the office to get your shot at least once a week. Allergy shots are given under the skin in your arm. After reaching your highest dose, also called your maintenance dose, your doctor will decide how often you need to come. Eventually most people come every 4 weeks. It takes 3 5 years to finish the treatment.
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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.
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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How To Store Your Prefilled Syringes
How you store your prefilled syringes depends on the medication inside them. Most medications are stored at room temperature, but some need to be kept in the refrigerator. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to store your syringes. Dont store your prefilled syringes in the freezer or leave them in direct sunlight.
Check off one of the boxes below to help you remember how to store your syringes.
- Store your prefilled syringes at room temperature.
- Store your prefilled syringes in the refrigerator.
If you have questions about how to store or carry your prefilled syringes when you travel, talk with your healthcare provider.
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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What Are Allergy Shots
Allergy shots are injections that you receive at regular intervals over a period of time. These injections contain a small amount of the allergen, or the substance that causes your allergy. When a small dose of the allergen is injected into your body, it stimulates your immune system but does not cause an allergic reaction.
Over time, your health care provider will slowly increase the amount of the allergen in your allergy shots, which allows your body to get used to the allergen. After your body becomes used to the allergen, your allergy symptoms may improve.
Allergy shots are used to treat indoor and outdoor environmental allergies and insect sting allergies. They are not recommended for food allergies.
What Are The Benefits
- Patients treated with allergy shots are expected to have a marked decrease in allergy symptoms as well as a marked decrease in the use of allergy medications.
- Symptoms like fatigue, poor concentration, headaches, ear and sinus infections can also be improved.
- Children treated with allergy shots are less likely to develop asthma or new allergies.
- Asthma and sinusitis episodes will usually be decreased.
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Allergy Drops Sublingual Immunotherapy
This is a form of immunotherapy that involves putting drops of allergen extracts under the tongue. Many people refer to this process as allergy drops, and it is an alternative treatment for allergy injections. It is recommended for select children over 5 years of age, and select adults. Insurance will usually cover the cost of the office visits and allergy testing, but will not cover the cost of the drops.
Sublingual immunotherapy is not an FDA approved treatment. It is considered off label treatment.
The Results For Me Have Been Truly Amazing
I think that I was pretty close to the worst case scenario, but I would, and have, strongly recommended Colorado Allergy and Asthma to others who suffer from Allergies. The results for me have been truly amazing. Its hard to envision life without the misery of allergy symptoms until they are gone. I feel like a completely different person. Ted G.
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How Should I Dispose Of The Needles And Syringes
You should be aware that some communities have strict rules about disposal of medical waste material, so do not throw the needle and syringe into the trash until you know if this is permissible. It is usually preferable to take the used needles and syringes to your veterinary clinic or local pharmacy for proper disposal.
Conventional Allergy Treatments For Dogs
Treatment has traditionally been aimed at reducing exposure to allergens and a wide variety of anti-inflammatory medications, nutritional supplements, bathing techniques, foods and allergy shots for dogs. Hypo- or de-sensitization injections helped about half of treated canines. If we could control 70% to 80% of a petâs itching, that was considered a win.
For serious cases, veterinarians would often turn to corticosteroids, potent drugs that carry side effects and risks weâd rather reserve for severe symptoms. Regardless of treatment combinations and clever formulations, canine allergic dermatitis remained a tremendous challenge.
But now, a new drug that works in an innovative way has arrived to offer relief for itchy dogs.
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Allergy Drops Vs Shots: Less Pain And Hassle
Fortunately, there is a better solution. With sublingual immunotherapy the allergens are administered via drops that absorb under your tongue. Not only is SLIT less painful than a shot but the drops are so easy to use that you can give them to yourself at home or anywhere. Since you give the medicine to yourself, you don’t have to visit the doctor as often which saves you time and money.
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.
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