Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)

This is the step where your allergic symptoms and you get better.

Immunotherapy, known as allergy shots, is a preventive treatment for allergic reactions to substances such as grass, trees and weeds pollens, dust mites, pet dander, mold spores and bee venom. Immunotherapy involves giving gradually increasing doses of the substance, or allergen, to which the person is allergic. The incremental increases of the allergen cause the immune system to become less sensitive to the substance, probably by causing production of a “blocking” antibody, which reduces the symptoms of allergy when the substance is encountered in the future.

Before starting treatment, the allergist and patient identify trigger factors for your allergic symptoms. Skin or sometimes blood test/such as RAST test  are performed to confirm the specific allergens to which the person has antibodies.

The allergy shots are also known as subcutaneous immunotherapy (SCIT) and are the most commonly used and most effective form of allergy immunotherapy. This is the only treatment available that actually changes the immune system, making it possible to prevent the development of new allergies and asthma.

Allergy tablets are a form of SLIT, or sublingual immunotherapy, that offer a way to treat certain allergies without shots. Like shots, tablets reduce symptoms by helping the body build resistance to the effects of an allergen. Unlike shots, tablets only treat one type of allergen and do not prevent the development of new allergies and asthma. FDA-approved SLIT for are available to treat allergies to ragweed and grass pollen.