Are Allergy Shots Right for You?

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Spring is fast approaching and that fact has some people jumping for joy — while others are boarding up their windows. Why would anyone be afraid of sunny skies, light winds, and blossoming flowers? The answer is easy: allergies. People with seasonal allergies often dread the sneezing and the watery, red, itchy eyes that spring pollen causes.

 Allergy pills may not work for many individuals or they may have unpleasant side effects (such as drowsiness). This can bring on unnecessary stress. For some people, this stress can last all year long, especially if they suffer from an allergy to animals or dust. But with just a needle a month, you may be able to tame those allergy symptoms in the short-term and perhaps even permanently.

 Before you go out and commit to a year of needles in the arm, there are a few things you should consider. First of all, if you don’t like getting needles, then this may be a hard treatment to commit to. Administered in much the same way as the flu shot, a doctor or nurse has to inject a substance into your muscles. This substance reduces your sensitivity to allergens, so you don’t get the annoying symptoms.

 At first, you’ll need to get these shots every week, but three to six months later there will be a month’s break between injections. You won’t notice a reduction in symptoms right away. It could take a few months before you notice a difference, but there should be a definite reduction after a year.

 In two or three year’s time, your symptoms should be practically gone. What’s more, after this time many people find they do not have to take the shots ever again, as they have conquered their allergies. However, many people continue to need the shots throughout their lifetime.

 Just remember that allergy shots won’t help protect you against food allergies or against other things such as bee stings. Some people also experience allergic reactions (ironically) from the shots. Swelling, redness, or pain at the injection site may last a few hours after getting the shot.

 You may also experience more of the symptoms associated with your allergies such as itchy eyes, sneezing, or even anaphylaxis (hypersensitivity), which needs to be treated immediately.

 However, this is rare. If you have a heart problem and take beta-blockers, it may also be a bad idea to take allergy medicine. Be sure to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of this option with your doctor. You should consider the cost of treatment, severity of symptoms, and your ability to commit to frequent trips to the doctor’s office for your shots.

 Just remember that you won’t see results right away, so you should be prepared to spend a year without experiencing major improvements from the shots. If it seems worthwhile after you’ve thought things over, then by all means, give it a try. You may get rid of your allergies forever.