allergy shots work
According to a recent
national article, a three to five year plan of allergen immunotherapy
remains effective for over five years after the last dosage has been
administered. What does this mean? Allergy shots work and there
is a lasting effect of the shots effectiveness.
I recently went through allergy testing and it was not nearly as bad as I feared.
I received 131 injections into both arms. The injections included a
plethora of allergens including dust mite, mold, pollen, and animal
allergens. Each one was tested in a variety of strengths to gauge my
I start shots next Monday,
and am very excited about it. Why? Because I have suffered with
chronic allergies my entire life. And my wife brought two cats
into the relationship. And we hope to get a puppy early this summer.
It is my hope that three
years of immunotherapy, coupled with rigorous environmental control measures
will help me lead a more healthy, productive life.
Yes there is a considerable
time sacrifice. I have to go to the doctor's office during the work
day, pay to park, and wait for 20 minutes to make sure the injection does
not cause a severe allergic reaction. At first I have to go twice a
week, then once a week starting in a month. But I am excited nonetheless
because I know it will help.
I strongly agree with the
phrase that "giving up your pet for adoption should be your last option, not
a physician's first." Pets bring a lot of joy and stress relief into a
home, which is why we are getting an official achoo! ALLERGY mascot, a puppy.
According to my physician,
I am a very severe case in his spectrum of patients. Since I am most
allergic to cats, it doesn't help that we have two. But they are banned
from the bedroom, and they are quarantined down to a lower floor in our home.
P. Cade McDonald
achoo! ALLERGY had the
opportunity to interview allergist Dr. Jay Fahrenholz of Nashville, TN on
the long term effectiveness of allergy shots. Dr. Fahrenholz recently
presented his findings at the 61st annual meeting of the American Academy of
Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in San Antonio.
Dr. Fahrenholz's study
concluded that no major differences regarding symptoms existed between
patients who had been off shots one to four years and those being off shots
five or more years.
The main conclusion is that
allergen immunotherapy appears to have "enduring benefit that did not show
signs of waning anymore if you've been off them several more years compared
to just a few years," Fahrenholz said. "Certainly some symptoms increase --
but for the most part, people had long-lasting benefit."
According to Dr. Fahrenholz,
only 10-15% of his patients have allergies severe enough to consider taking
When we asked Dr. Fahrenholz
about the benefits of immunotherapy (shots) to combat cat allergy, he
mentioned that shots could be effective, however cat allergy is very tough
to desensitize, and one could still expect to experience symptoms even after
years of immunotherapy treatment for cat allergy.
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more information on allergy shots
American Academy of Allergy,
Asthma & Immunology Information on Allergy Shots
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Information on Allergy
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