Medical research has come a long way over the last few decades. We now know more than ever before about treating previously incurable illnesses. While allergies to things like dust, grass and tree pollen may not be the worst thing in the world, the symptoms can be irritating and even painful and are certainly worth reducing. That’s where immunotherapy comes in.
What is immunotherapy?
Also known as allergy shots, immunotherapy is a form of long-term treatment that can reduce symptoms for those with issues such as asthma, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, or an allergy to stinging insects.
Immunotherapy reduces sensitivity to allergens, resulting in lasting relief of uncomfortable, painful, and sometimes dangerous allergy symptoms even after the doctor ceases the treatment.
How does immunotherapy work?
Immunotherapy works in the same way as a vaccine. The patient’s body responds to small amounts of a particular allergen, which their doctor injects in increasing doses over time. This treatment immunizes the body to the allergen by developing gradual tolerance to it.
Immunotherapy generally consists of two phases: the build-up phase, involving injections with increasing amounts of the allergen once or twice a week. The build-up phase’s length typically ranges from three to six months but can be longer if the patient receives the injections less frequently than once or twice a week.
After this, we come to the maintenance phase. This phase can start once the patient has reached an effective dose, and there will be longer periods in between sessions than with the build-up phase. This maintenance dose changes from patient to patient, depending on their level of allergen sensitivity and physical response to the initial build-up phase.
It can take as long as a year of maintenance doses to feel fully relieved of these allergies. If immunotherapy is successful, doctors will recommend that the patient continues having maintenance up to five years after they begin to feel better.
Who can benefit from immunotherapy?
People of all ages can receive immunotherapy, although doctors do not recommend it for children under the age of five.
Those with respiratory issues like allergic asthma can benefit from immunotherapy, rather than those with food allergies. There is currently no cure for food allergies, and allergic reactions can only be avoided by staying clear of allergens in food.
Immunotherapy is a cost-effective and safe way to provide patients with relief from uncomfortable and frustrating allergies. Severe reactions are extremely rare, and in the case of children, it can help prevent allergies from progressing into asthma. Immunotherapy can also offer more freedom when it comes to your time and money. Having allergy shots can mean taking (and paying for) less medicine and worrying less about being in situations that might trigger your allergies.
At Apurva Advanced Medical Care, we provide unique services for our patients. We offer immunotherapy as a series of injections. If you live in Arizona and are considering lessening your symptoms through immunotherapy, you can find further information on our website or call us at (928)237-9000 today!