Why consider immunotherapy?
Among the wide variety of treatment possibilities available today, allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots) is the only treatment that targets the cause of allergy and alters the natural course of the disease, which, for many patients, may lead to:
- An improved quality of life
- An end to discomfort and feeling ill
- Less symptomatic drugs in the case of respiratory allergies
- Freedom to enjoy outdoor activities during allergy season
- Fewer problems having pets at home or vising family or friends with pets
Clinical studies have shown that for the majority of patients, their allergies improve and this effect is maintained years after completing treatment.
How does immunotherapy work?
Immunotherapy occurs in two distinct phases: build-up and maintenance. The build-up process begins with the injection of a weak concentration of an allergen extract. Injections of increasingly stronger concentrations are given until you reach the maximum dose. This process typically takes several months but can vary based on your sensitivity to the injections and your specific treatment plan. Once you have reached your maximum dose, you enter the "maintenance" phase of treatment, which often times requires a monthly maintenance dose. Immunotherapy is recommended for 3-5 years. However, the length of treatment is determined by your degree of symptom severity and your physician's recommendation.