Whether you are a person suffering from allergies or you are looking for an alternative to conventional treatments, you will probably come across the term allergy shots and allergen immunotherapy. Allergen immunotherapy refers to the process of testing and administering small doses of allergens to help your body become immune to the allergy. This treatment has proved to be effective in preventing allergic reactions to pollen, dust, and other common allergens. However, the treatments are not always effective in treating chronic hives or food allergies.
Sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT
SLIT, or sublingual immunotherapy, is an alternative treatment for allergies. It involves receiving small amounts of allergens under the tongue, which helps the body learn to ignore the offending allergens. This helps prevent the symptoms of allergies, including nasal congestion, cough, and rhinitis. In addition, it reduces the need for allergy medications. It can be used to treat asthma, hay fever, dust mites, and mold.
SLIT is not covered by most insurance companies. It is also expensive. If you are considering SLIT, you should talk to your allergist about how much it will cost you. You should also discuss the potential for adverse reactions. These can range from mild to moderate. However, most of these side effects are gone within a few weeks of starting treatment.
There are several studies that have shown SLIT to be safe. There are few serious reactions reported during the course of treatment. However, if you experience an allergic reaction, you should seek emergency medical attention. An epinephrine autoinjector will need to be carried at all times.
SLIT is an effective treatment for asthma and hay fever. In addition, it may also be used to treat food and dust allergies. Some studies have shown that it is especially effective for infants and children. In fact, SLIT is considered the gold standard of care in many parts of Europe.
Patients on SLIT are followed in the clinic at close intervals. This allows them to learn how to use an epinephrine autoinjector in case of a severe reaction. The goal of SLIT is to reduce allergies and help the body develop lasting immunity to allergens.
SLIT can be a very effective treatment for dust mites, hay fever, and asthma. However, it does take time to build a strong immune response. For this reason, patients continue to see their allergist for follow-up appointments for several months after treatment has begun.
Some people report that SLIT does not work as well as injection immunotherapy. The amount of allergen required for SLIT may be slightly higher than injection immunotherapy. However, SLIT may be a good choice for people who dislike injections. It is also often cheaper. In addition, SLIT can be self-administered at home.
Testing to determine which allergens are causing allergies
Performing allergy testing to determine which allergens are causing allergies is important because it helps people understand what they are allergic to and can help avoid further exposure. Testing can include skin tests, blood tests, and oral food allergen challenges. These tests can help doctors and health care providers identify the allergens that are causing an allergic reaction and create a treatment plan to prevent the reaction.
Skin tests are the most commonly performed allergy tests. These tests involve placing a small amount of a suspected allergen on a patient’s skin. The test can detect allergic reactions to pollen, pet dander, mold, and other allergens. The test will cause a reaction on the skin and may cause the patient to itch. The results are usually available after 15 to 20 minutes.
A skin test is generally performed on the back or inner forearm. The doctor will place a small amount of the suspected allergen on the skin and wait for the reaction. Sometimes a blood test is performed to confirm the test results.
An intradermal skin test is more specific than a skin test. A small needle is used to put a small amount of a suspected allergen under the skin. Doctors can then more accurately determine the level of sensitivity. These tests don’t require the patient to stop taking any of their allergy medications.
A blood test is a less common method of allergy testing. The test measures the number of specific types of antibodies. A higher number of these antibodies is indicative of a higher sensitivity to a substance but doesn’t always indicate the severity of symptoms. It’s important to note that a blood test can only confirm an allergy, not diagnose it.
Patch testing is an allergy test that involves covering the skin for 48 hours. It’s often used to diagnose dermatitis, but may not be as specific as other tests. It takes two or three visits to the office to complete the test. The test is usually performed on the back, but it can also be done on other parts of the body.
Side effects of allergy shots
Getting allergy shots can be a great way to reduce allergy symptoms. However, you should be aware that they can also cause a variety of side effects. It’s important to follow the instructions of your healthcare provider.
For instance, you may be given an antihistamine before an allergy shot to reduce the risk of having a local reaction. However, you should be aware that most local reactions aren’t dangerous. They can be uncomfortable, but they aren’t life-threatening.
Some people may experience an anaphylactic reaction after an allergy shot. This is a serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, swelling of the throat, and difficulty breathing. If you experience this reaction, you should immediately seek medical help.
Typically, anaphylaxis occurs within 30 minutes after an allergy shot. The reaction is usually mild but can be life-threatening if left untreated. The doctor may recommend using epinephrine to treat the reaction. If this is the case, you should take this medicine immediately.
Some people who have been treated for allergies may not experience a reaction at all. However, others may have a more severe reaction. Symptoms may include nasal congestion, hives, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Fortunately, these reactions are rare.
If you have a severe allergy reaction, you should immediately seek medical help. Your healthcare provider may also recommend taking a beta blocker to control your high blood pressure. These drugs are commonly used to treat high blood pressure, migraines, and other heart conditions. You should discuss the risks and benefits of taking these drugs with your doctor.
Getting allergy shots can also help reduce asthma symptoms. However, you may need to take ongoing shots to prevent new allergies. If you have asthma, you may be especially vulnerable to having a severe reaction.
Allergy shots work by building up your tolerance to the allergen. This can reduce your allergy symptoms, and may even help you get over your allergies. Getting allergy shots can also reduce the number of medications you take.
Allergy shots are generally given on a weekly schedule. However, you may be able to take them more often if your doctor recommends it.
Ineffective for treating food allergies or chronic hives
Getting hives or food allergies can be uncomfortable and painful. They are caused by an allergic reaction in which your body releases chemicals called histamine. These chemicals are released by mast cells. As a result, tiny blood vessels under the skin leak, causing swelling.
When someone has hives, they usually experience itching, redness, and a rash. In some cases, hives may form large bumps. Hives may also feel burning. They may last for hours or even days. Hives can be caused by a number of different things, such as food, chemicals, insects, heat, or infection.
If someone has hives, they need to be checked regularly. This can include asking about the medication they have taken recently, what foods they eat, and what substances they have been exposed to. The allergist can also ask questions about recent illnesses and stressors. Some doctors may even do blood tests to find the cause of hives.
Chronic hives are skin condition that lasts longer than a few weeks. Hives may be related to chronic atopic dermatitis, lupus, an autoimmune disorder, or thyroid disease. They may also be triggered by infection, exercise, heat, or stress. The condition can be difficult to control.
Hives are often treated with antihistamines. These medicines are used to relieve itching and reduce swelling. In some cases, doctors will use stronger antihistamines to help with the symptoms. They may also prescribe sulfones, which block histamine’s effects.
Some people also use steroid pills to treat hives. These medications are usually prescribed for a short period of time. These medications can have serious side effects, so they should only be used for a short period of time.
The symptoms of an allergic reaction are uncomfortable and can include dizziness, a drop in blood pressure, and breathing problems. This is why it’s important to be evaluated quickly. Some people also experience anaphylactic shock, which is a severe allergic reaction. If someone experiences anaphylactic shock, they need to be given a shot of epinephrine. This medicine opens up the airways, decreases swelling, and reduces the risk of a life-threatening reaction.
Health A to Z. (n.d.). HSE.ie. https://www2.hse.ie/az/
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Directory Health Topics. (n.d.). https://www.healthline.com/directory/topics
Health A-Z. (2022, April 26). Verywell Health. https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-a-z-4014770
Harvard Health. (2015, November 17). Health A to Z. https://www.health.harvard.edu/health-a-to-z
Health Conditions A-Z Sitemap. (n.d.). EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/conditions/