Not a Cure: What Allergy Shots Really Do
There has been a lot of buzz lately about allergy shots, and a lot of patients with allergies are pretty excited at the thought of not having to worry as much about their health. But there are also a lot of misconceptions about what allergy shots really do. Allergy shots will not cure you of your allergies.
What Are Allergy Shots?
Allergy shots are actually a form of immunotherapy in which your body is subjected to minute amounts of the allergen, repeated on a schedule, in order to build up an immunity to the allergen. You see, allergies are caused by the body’s immune system mistaking an allergen for a harmful invader. By building up your immunity, you are training your body to fight the allergen.
Carrying Your Epi Pen
If you have a severe allergy that requires you to carry an epi pen, you need to continue to carry the pen during and after your allergy immunotherapy. The allergy shots will decrease the frequency and intensity of symptoms when you are introduced to an allergen, but they will not stop the allergic reaction completely. You are still susceptible to severe symptoms at any time, especially with intense exposure. While it is less likely, you don’t want to be caught without it in an emergency.
Candidates for Immunotherapy
Not everyone should try allergy shots. Most young children are not able to have allergy shots because the patient needs to be able to accurately describe their symptoms in detail so that the therapy can be properly tailored to the patient.
Individuals with certain health conditions or health risks should also avoid allergy shots. When you visit us for your initial appointment, we will discuss your medical history so that we will be able to determine if allergy shots are for you.