Mayo Clinic describes immunotherapy, or allergy shots, as the “carefully timed and gradually increased exposure to allergens, particularly those that are difficult to avoid, such as pollens, dust mites and molds.” The desired outcome, as the name suggests, is to get the immune system to the point where it becomes used to the allergens and no longer reacts. The treatment itself is similar to being vaccinated, but the resistance can take three to six months and required shots once or twice a week. After that period, less frequent shots are still necessary for up to five years.
One of the great things about allergy shots is that they carry very little risk and are usually very effective, although you may react to the allergens entering your body depending on the severity of your allergy.
Mayo Clinic explains the risks:
- Local reactions can involve temporary redness, swelling or irritation at the injection site.
- Systemic reactions, which are less common, involve typical allergy symptoms from minor nasal congestion to more severe wheezing.
- Anaphylaxis, which is extremely rare, can begin within 30 minutes. The procedure is done in a doctor’s office so that if this does occur, you are still under a doctor’s care.
When deciding whether or not the shots are right for you, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggests considering the following factors:
- The length of allergy season and the severity of your symptoms
- Whether medications and/or changes to your environment can control your symptoms
- Your desire to avoid long-term medication use
- Time: allergy immunotherapy requires a major time commitment
- Cost: may vary depending on your region and insurance coverage
If you are an allergy sufferer, but are not sure you want to go through this procedure, CT Sinus Center has another option for you. Our expert physicians specialize in up-to-date, innovative procedures that can put an end to your allergy suffering forever.
Say “nay” to allergy shots.
When you come in for your appointment at CT Sinus Center, our doctors will begin with a patient-centered approach and thoroughly discuss your symptoms. They will then perform comprehensive diagnostic testing to figure out exactly what is triggering your allergies in order to develop an individualized treatment plan. You may be an ideal candidate for Balloon Sinus Dilation, a non-invasive, in-house procedure in which a small balloon is inflated in the nasal cavity in order to drain your sinuses and keep the passages permanently open. Or Turbinate Reductions may be the better choice for your symptoms. This is an outpatient surgical process in which soft tissue is removed in order to increase airflow and decrease post nasal drip. Both are one-time procedures that will last a lifetime.
If you are ready to take a shot at a allergy-free life, call CT Sinus Center today at 860-BALLOON and schedule an appointment at one of our three conveniently-located offices.
For more information on all things sinus– and allergy-related, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.