When allergies make you miserable, and over-the-counter medicine doesn't help, or you have severe allergic reactions, it's time to consider allergy shots. At DFW Asthma & Allergy Center, Aasia Ghazi, MD, helps children and adults get relief from their symptoms with allergy shots that gradually stop their immune system from reacting to allergens. To learn more about allergy shots and how they can help you, call the office in Plano, Texas, or book an appointment online today.
Allergy shots, also called immunotherapy, treat your allergies by making your immune system less sensitive to your allergens.
Allergies begin when your immune system overreacts to harmless substances and labels them as a threat to your health. When you encounter that substance (allergen), your immune system releases chemicals that cause your allergy symptoms.
Allergy shots expose your immune system to regular doses of your allergen. Over time, the immune system gets used to the substance and stops causing allergic reactions. As a result, your symptoms significantly improve and, in some cases, may disappear.
Allergy shots treat nearly all common allergens. Your provider may recommend immunotherapy to treat allergies to:
Allergy shots also improve asthma when allergies trigger your attacks.
Before you get allergy shots, your provider performs allergy testing, usually in the form of a skin test, to precisely identify your allergens.
At the start of your treatment, called the buildup phase, you get 1-2 allergy shots every week. Your first injection delivers a very small dose of your allergen.
Then your provider gradually increases the dose with each shot. The dose is just enough to stimulate your immune system without causing a full-blown allergic reaction.
The buildup phase lasts about 3-6 months — until your provider determines you’re ready to move to the maintenance phase. During the maintenance phase, you only need 1-2 shots each month, and every shot delivers the same dose.
You stay in the maintenance phase until you get optimal symptom relief. The length of time varies for each person, but the maintenance phase typically lasts 3-5 years.
DFW Asthma & Allergy Center offers two options that treat your allergies on a faster schedule by shortening the buildup phase:
During cluster immunotherapy, you reach the maintenance phase over weeks rather than months. In most cases, you get several injections during each appointment of your buildup phase.
Your provider may recommend rush immunotherapy when you have severe allergies and need rapid relief. The protocol varies based on each patient's needs, but typically includes getting an allergy shot every few hours for 1-8 days.
To learn if you're a good candidate for allergy shots, call DFW Asthma & Allergy Center or book an appointment online today.