Allergic reactions are very hard to deal with, especially with the changing weather and triggers being almost everywhere, it seems impossible to protect yourself from an allergy attack. This is where allergy shots come in. Here is everything you need to know about allergy shots and whether you should visit an allergy center for allergy shots or not.
What Are Allergy Shots?
Allergies are caused by things that are present in the air, water, or even in the things you eat. If your immune system isn’t reacting well to these things, then it can activate the defense mechanism of the body and this is what causes severe symptoms of allergies and reactions, like high fever, difficulty in breathing, hives, etc. These things or triggers which can cause severe allergies are known as allergens. Allergens can be:
- Pet fur or dander
- Food products containing things like dairy, gluten, nut oils, etc.
- Fungus or mold
Immunotherapy or an allergy shot is a form of treatment that involves introducing the allergen into your bloodstream and letting the immune system get used to it and creating antibodies against said allergen. In this way, you are strengthening your immune system, as well as preventing the outburst of a bad allergic reaction in the future.
To understand immunotherapy, you must know what type of allergy you have in the first place. Allergy shots tend to work on certain allergies and you need to figure out whether you are the perfect candidate for getting these shots or not.
Allergy shots are very similar to vaccine shots, in the sense that you get them administered subcutaneously and there’s a certain schedule that you have to follow in order to ensure that the allergy shots are effective and are combating your allergies and symptoms.
After several shots, your immune system will be developed and trained to fight against the allergens by itself and you don’t need to have allergy medicine on hand to treat symptoms. Your body is going to do this for you, by generating antibodies in the bloodstream. This will strengthen your defense mechanism and you will see the difference in no time at all.
Allergies Which Are Treatable With Allergy Shots
As mentioned previously, there are only a couple of allergies, which can be “treated “by allergy shots. The main objective of allergy shots isn’t to make allergies go away forever, but they allow your body to strengthen and protect itself by constantly introducing an allergen in your body, and over time, your immune system will retaliate, through symptoms, less and less because your body is getting used to the foreign entity, aka allergen, and it’s fighting it off on its own.
So, it’s not necessarily a treatment, rather it’s a way of making your body used to allergens, so that the next time you’re exposed to it, it will not cause a violent reaction.
The allergies, for which allergy shots have been found successful are as follows:
Pollen allergy occurs in the spring and summer months and it can cause a lot of severe reactions in the body, like breaking out of hives, extreme fever, and chest constriction.
Pollen is a very common allergen that is found in flowers and it’s extremely lightweight so it can be transported from one place to another, through mediums like air and water.
Pet allergies can take place when you are exposed to pet hair and fur. If you inhale the fur or are in contact with it, then it can lead to a breakout of red patches all over your face and arms, swelling on the face, watery eyes, and an irritated throat.
People who suffer from pet allergies are instructed not to have pets around them or in their houses because that can lead to aggravated reactions.
Insect allergies are caused by biting of insects like wasps, honeybees, and more. The symptoms of insect allergies include constricted throat, difficulty in breathing, wheezing, and coughing.
Dust allergies is also another very common allergy, which can occur at any time of the year. If you are exposed to dust or mites, then it can cause a fit of coughing or wheezing and you will feel like you can’t breathe because your throat will be tight and constricted. Your chest will also feel very compacted and you can’t breathe properly because of the fact.
This is why people with dust allergies are advised to wear masks at all times because dust is virtually anywhere and everywhere, and if you’re not looking for a severe allergic reaction to deal with, then it’s better to prevent coming into contact with the allergen.
Allergies That Are Not Treatable With Allergy Shots
The allergies that allergy shots can’t manage to treat include various food allergies, contact allergies like latex allergy, and medicine or drug allergy. For these allergies, it’s better to go the traditional route, which is to avoid the allergen at all costs and keep your medicine handy at all times, in case there’s a bad reaction making its way toward you and follow the instructions of your allergy specialist Germantown.
What Happens In An Allergy Shot Appointment
If you are considering getting allergy shots for your allergy, then this is how a general appointment will go with an allergy specialist.
- Firstly, the doctor will diagnose your allergy properly. This means a lot of blood and patch tests will be done, to pinpoint exactly what kind of allergy you’re suffering from and whether or not it’s treatable through shots.
- Once you have the official diagnosis of your allergy, you can go forward with scheduling your first allergy shot appointment. The doctor will give you a time and day to come visit again and the first shot will be administered.
- During the first appointment, there will be backup plans for treating the symptoms, because your body will not react well when it comes in contact with an allergen. You might feel weird or the symptoms of normal allergic reactions might resurface and that’s completely normal. The doctor will give you allergy medicine to deal with the symptoms during the first few appointments.
- After some appointments, and this number is going to be different for different people depending on their health, immune system, and tolerance in general, your symptoms will start to fade and you will feel no symptoms after getting the shot. This is a clear indication that the allergy shot is now compensating the immune system and it’s in action. Your doctor will also do several tests, after some appointments, to make sure that the antibodies are being produced by the immune system and that there is no other side effect of the allergy shots.
- This process can span over some years, but it’s very effective and a lot of people can live allergy-free for years to come, without relapsing. The key is the right diagnosis and punctuality with appointments.
There you have it! Allergy shots or immunotherapy is a newer way of treating allergies, and for a lot of people, it has been pretty successful. Consult your allergy doctor Manassas as soon as possible, to get started on your journey to saying goodbye to allergies for good.