Allergen Immunotherapy ("Allergy Shots")
Allergen Immunotherapy is a treatment program designed to reduce allergic sensitivity to environmental substances (allergens like dust mite, mold, animal dander and pollens). During allergy treatment, extracts of these substances are injected over a period of time. These extract mixtures are basically vaccines that teach your immune system to ignore these normally harmless substances. They do not contain any drugs. They are just a combination of proteins that make up the allergens and are safe for children and adults.
There have been reports in the news about sublingual immunotherapy. We currently do not offer this treatment since it is not approved for use in the United States. Studies from Europe have generally shown them to be not as effective as standard allergy shots.
Allergen Immunotherapy is a safe and effective way of treating many inhaled allergic symptoms. The decision to employ this therapy is based on your particular symptoms and allergic sensitivities. Immunotherapy is generally a good long term investment in managing your allergic problems. The objective is to maintain patients as free of symptoms as possible, on as little medication as possible, and with few or no reactions to injections.
This method of treatment, combined with avoidance of environmental offenders, serves an important long-term role in the management of allergy symptoms. The following information is provided to answer commonly asked questions about Immunotherapy.