Allergy Shots

How Does It Work?

Allergy vaccine therapy is a process in which an allergic patient can become desensitized to those pollens and other inhalant allergens that trigger allergic rhinitis (nasal congestion), allergic conjunctivitis (itchy, teary eyes), asthma and bee sting reactions. Small doses of the actual allergic substance are injected weekly. Each week the dose is increased. Gradually a protective antibody, also known as Immunoglobulin G, is formed to block the allergic reaction. Also allergy shots desensitize or tame the immune system so that it stops over reacting to the allergens.

The improvement induced by allergy vaccine therapy is gradual. Many patients notice an improvement within the first six (6) months. 90-95% of patients report significant improvement once at full dose therapy which usually takes about 1 year.

How is Allergy Diagnosed?

The most important diagnostic tool is the history of the illness. The patient’s description of the problem leads to a diagnosis 90% of the time. Allergy skin tests are used to confirm this impression and to define exactly which allergens are involved. For over 75 years allergy skin testing has been the best method of identifying allergens.

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