Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to specific substances, causing an immune reaction and sending out antibodies to battle what it perceives as a threat to the body and to health. Allergies can cause symptoms like coughing, wheezing, sneezing, hives and angioedema, swelling under skin and in the mouth and throat. In severe allergic reactions, anaphylaxis can occur, causing difficulty breathing, shock and even death.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that's used to help people with allergies build up a resistance to the allergens that cause their reactions. During immunotherapy, a series of injections of a solution containing diluted allergens is administered over a period of time to help your body develop immunity. As injections continue, the amount of allergen will be slowly increased to improve your tolerance. Eventually, your body will no longer produce an allergic reaction to the allergen, or any reaction it does produce will be significantly less than what you experienced in the past. Immunotherapy is sometimes referred to as “allergy shots.”
Injections are given one or more times every week for several weeks, usually between three and six months. Once tolerance has been achieved, some patients may need to return for shots once a month for several years to ensure resistance is maintained. The initial “tolerance-building” phase can sometimes be shortened by administering higher amounts of allergen with each shot, but that can also increase the likelihood of an allergic reaction. Injections are typically given in the upper arm, and you'll need to remain in the office for about 20 to 30 minutes after each injection to ensure an allergic reaction doesn't occur.
Most patients report significant improvement within a year or so of treatment.
Here is a short list of just some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
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