FAQs About Allergy Treatment With Allergy Shots

Are you searching for an allergy treatment that stops your congestion, coughing, and other symptoms? Whether you experience an allergic reaction to Fluffy and Fido or have seasonal sneezing fits, take a look at what you need to know about allergy shots, symptom reduction, and your options.

What Are Allergy Shots?

As the name implies, this treatment option is an injectable medication that can reduce the symptoms of some types of allergies. This means you won't need to swallow pills daily or completely avoid your triggers to find relief. 

To fully understand how these shots work, you may need to know more about why your body reacts to an allergen. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), an allergen triggers an immune response in the body. This leads to symptoms that may seem like a respiratory illness, such as sneezing, coughing, and congestion. Some people may also experience itching, swelling of the throat, trouble breathing, and a drop in blood pressure. 

Also known as immunotherapy, the shots contain the trigger (what you're allergic to). While this may seem like it would only cause you to sneeze, wheeze, and more, the allergen in the injection kicks off an immune response. The immune response helps your body to identify the allergen and desensitizes it to the trigger. Over time you should develop immunity to the allergen. 

Why Choose A Shot As An Allergy Treatment?

Again, an injection eliminates the need to take daily pills or avoid allergens. You won't need to worry about the return of symptoms if you forget to take your medication. You also won't need to stay inside during the summer or skip an afternoon at your friend's house just because they have a dog or a cat. 

You may also want to explore an injectable allergy treatment option if other medications don't fully reduce or eliminate your symptoms. If you've already tried a few different types of oral medications (prescription or over-the-counter) without success, your allergist may recommend injections. 

How Many Shots Will You Need?

Unlike oral medications, you won't need a daily allergy injection. A doctor will inject the immunotherapy shot on a set schedule over time. This is done in two phases — the build-up phase and the maintenance phase. The build-up phase includes one or more shots per week. The doctor will gradually increase the dosage as your body builds up immunity to the trigger. 

The maintenance phase, as the name says, helps your body to maintain immunity. The number of shots you will need per month or per year depends on the allergy and your body's response to the immunotherapy.