Allergy shots or allergy immunotherapy is a great option for people who suffer with environmental allergies. We are able to individualize the therapy based on a person’s allergies which helps to better target their allergens. It is time-consuming, but well worth it if one has the time. It consists of weekly shots for about a year which helps to slowly introduce the allergen(s) to the patient and essentially help make them less allergic. After a year, patients come less frequently; every 2 weeks, every 3 weeks, and then every month. We usually recommend it for 3-5 years for maximum benefit. They may cause some local reaction—itching and swelling at the shot site, and this is the most common reaction patients may have. A more serious reaction that very rarely happens is a more systemic reaction, but we have our patients wait for 30 minutes after they receive their shots so we can be here to treat them just in case. This is a rarity, but we do stress the importance of waiting after getting allergy shots. Generally, if a patient is sick, they will not get their shot(s) that day because it does increase the chance of an allergic reaction. Allergy shots are a great long-term solution. Just think of it this way—you can keep on treating the symptoms from the allergies with allergy medications or you can essentially treat the allergy itself.
Author Ambka S. Ambka is a PA here at Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center of LI. She specializes in allergy and immunology conditions.