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Immunotherapy Can Help with Fighting Toughest Allergies


  • Immunotherapy is also called allergy shots
  • There is more than one type of immunotherapy
  • A severe allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock can be life threatening

Immunotherapy is an allergy treatment that involves giving you the allergen in doses that slowly increase, with the aim of making you less sensitive to these substances. This treatment may also be termed allergy shots, and it can help if you have frequent allergy symptoms that disrupt your life or you have severe which may lead to anaphylactic shock. The theory is that allergen avoidance is not always possible, especially with high risk allergies like bee stings, tree nuts, peanuts, seafood, and others. Instead, using antihistamines to control symptoms and using allergy shots to desensitize you can really help get rid of your allergy symptoms and minimize the allergic reaction of your body.

There are several types of immunotherapy. In the usual allergy treatments, you will go to your doctor once or twice a week at first and receive a shot with a small but increasing dose of your allergens. Eventually you will reach a dose that is determined to be optimal, and this is your maintenance dose. Once the shots help control your allergy symptoms and your maintenance dose is determined, you can lengthen the visits to once or twice a month instead, and you will need to keep this schedule up for years. You may notice your allergies completely disappear or just that they do not occur as often or as severely.

Rush immunotherapy is another method of allergy treatment, one which is sped up and has increased risks. This type of treatment may be done for a number of reasons, and instead of waiting days or weeks between the allergen exposure in larger doses the rush method does it in hours. This allows you and your doctor to determine your maintenance dosage without waiting a long period of time. This method has high risks involved, and it is normally only done by your doctor in a hospital in case anaphylactic shock does happen. In some cases antihistamines and other medications may be ordered before your treatment to minimize the risks some.

There are two other forms of immunotherapy that are currently available, and both of these methods are not approved in the United States. They involve applying the allergen through the mouth or the nasal passages, and although they are available in some foreign countries they are not legally available in the USA.

Because immunotherapy involves exposure to the substance you are allergic to, the risks can be very high and can cause life threatening conditions which require immediate emergency medical attention. Because of this only your doctor or an allergy specialist should perform this allergy treatment, and only in a medical setting. This way if a severe allergic reaction does occur the equipment and medications are available to deal with it and prevent you from dying. These reactions can include hives, welts, trouble breathing, a serious drop in blood pressure, unconsciousness, and even death if the shock is not treated. This is why only a doctor or licensed medical facility should ever attempt this allergy treatment.

If you suffer from severe or life changing allergies, immunotherapy may be able to help. Unfortunately, there are some types of allergies that this treatment is not as effective on, but for bee stings, nut allergies, hay fever, and many other allergies, this treatment can change your life for the better. It can help minimize even the most severe allergies, so that you no longer have to live your life using allergen avoidance or fear dying. If you suffer from allergies, talk to your doctor and fight out exactly what your treatment options are. This will allow you to take your life back.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

One Response to “Immunotherapy Can Help with Fighting Toughest Allergies”

  1. 1
    Jim Says:
    I am not sold yet on immunotherapy. To be fair, I tried it a decade ago for airborne pollen allergies I was having trouble with. It was supposed to be a four week trial, but I stopped going after the third week. I was having other reactions to the therapy that made me decide to drop it. But I did fix my allergy problem. I moved to another state.