How Allergy Shots Can Treat Your Asthma And Allergies
- How Allergy Shots Can Treat Your Asthma and Allergies
If you are suffering from allergies, you may have heard of allergy shots. In this blog post, we will discuss what exactly allergy shots are and how they can treat allergies. Well explore why they work, their benefits, potential risks associated with them, as well as some alternatives to allergy shots!
Allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy, are injections of purified allergens that help desensitize the body to certain triggers and help reduce the severity of daily rhinitis symptoms like sneezing, itching, and nasal congestion. They do this by gradually introducing more and more of a particular allergen into the body, allowing it to build up immunity to that trigger over time. Allergy shots can treat a variety of allergies including sensitivity to trees, grass, weeds, cat, dog, dust mites, and molds and can be a great option for those who have experienced little relief from nasal sprays, antihistamines and avoidance measures.
Though they may take several weeks or months to take effect, allergy shots can be a great option for treating allergies. If youre considering allergy shots, make sure to speak with your doctor about the risks and benefits of this type of treatment. With proper care and guidance, you can reduce your reliance on daily medications and find relief from your symptoms leading to a better quality of life and improved overall health.
What Should I Expect Afterward
Usually, youâll stay at the doctorâs office for about 30 minutes after you get an allergy shot. That’s to make sure you don’t get side effects like itchy eyes, shortness of breath, a runny nose, or a tight throat. If you get these symptoms after you leave, go back to your doctor’s office or to the nearest emergency room.
Redness, swelling, or irritation right around the site of the injection is normal. These symptoms should go away in 4 to 8 hours.
Can Allergy Drops Stop Cat Allergies
Allergy drops are a form of sublingual immunotherapy. Unlike allergy shots, another form of immunotherapy, allergy drops do not require office visits, long waits, or weekly injections. Instead, patients self-administer the medication under the tongue from the convenience of home.
Luckily, allergy drops do prevent cat allergy symptoms and offer long-term relief. They can also address other animal allergies like dogs, horses, and rodents and environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and mold.
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Allergy Shots: Side Effects & Reactions
It’s possible to have an allergic reaction to the allergy injection itself. Reactions may be local or systemic .
Systemic reactions may include:
- hay fever-like symptoms ,
- rarely, life-threatening reactions.
Serious systemic reactions may occur in patients with worsening asthma or asthma that’s not controlled well on medications. If you have noticed worsening asthmatic symptoms, notify your nurse or dermatologist immediately before receiving your scheduled injections.
Heavy exposure to pollen during pollen season and exercise after an injection may also increase your risk for allergic reactions to the injections. However, allergic reactions to the injections may occur even in the absence of these conditions.
New Treatments For Cat Allergies In Humans
Cat allergies in humans are common, especially among people who have other allergies or asthma. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as many as three in 10 Americans with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs. Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies, affecting about 10% of humans.
You might think a blog post on managing human allergies isbeyond the scope of a blog written by a veterinarian. However, in this blog post,Ill discuss two interventions under investigation that seek to decrease theallergy-causing allergen in cats, thereby providing relief to human allergysufferers.
Fel d 1 The Allergen
In 90% of humans with allergies to cats, Fel d 1 is the allergen responsible for the allergic reaction. Male cats produce more Fel d 1 than females, and neutering male cats decreases its production. Fel d 1 protein is produced in the salivary, skin, tear and perianal glands of cats. As cats groom, they distribute Fel d 1 on their skin and hair. When cats move around the home, they leave Fel d 1 wherever they shed or leave dander behind. An allergic reaction to Fel d 1 can range from mild, with runny eyes and nose, to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Proposed Treatment #1 A SpecialFeline Vaccine
Proposed Treatment #2 Special CatFood
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Are Allergy Shots Effective
When the treatment is done correctly, allergy shots can be as much as 90% effective at reducing symptoms. They can also prevent the development of new allergies or prevent diseases like asthma from getting worse.
However, not everyone should get allergy shots. Allergy shots are usually only recommended when:
- Medication cant control your symptoms, and you cannot avoid the allergen.
- Allergy medications interact with other medications you take, causing side effects or reducing the effectiveness of either medication.
- You want to reduce your long-term use of allergy medications.
Allergy shots are not recommended if:
- You are trying to treat a food allergy, latex allergy, or medication allergy. Allergy shots are not effective against these types of allergies. It is best to avoid these substances altogether.
- Your child is under 5 years of age: Allergy shots are not recommended for children under 5 because these children may find it challenging to cooperate with the program, or express that they are having a negative reaction.
- Have a heart condition or cardiac disease.
When deciding if allergy shots are right for you, you and your allergist should also consider:
- The length of allergy season and the severity of your symptoms.
- Your current medications.
- Your time availability .
- The cost of the treatment and your insurance coverage.
- Whether other options, like oral pills, are better suited to your situation.
What Else Do You Need To Make Your Decision
Check the facts
- That’s right. Allergy shots will probably help you. They are effective for most people and can reduce symptoms if you are allergic to pollens, animal dander, dust mites, mould, or cockroaches.
- No, that’s not right. Allergy shots will probably help you. They are effective for most people and can reduce symptoms if you are allergic to pollens, animal dander, dust mites, mould, or cockroaches.
- It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Allergy shots are effective for most people and can reduce symptoms if you are allergic to pollens, animal dander, dust mites, mould, or cockroaches.
- No, that’s not right. You need to take allergy shots for 3 to 5 years.
- Right. You need to take allergy shots for 3 to 5 years.
- It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” You need to take allergy shots for 3 to 5 years.
- That’s right. Children may use allergy shots if they have ongoing asthma made worse by allergens. Your child’s asthma needs to be well controlled before he or she gets allergy shots.
- No, that’s wrong. Actually children may use allergy shots if they have ongoing asthma made worse by allergens. Your child’s asthma needs to be well controlled before he or she gets allergy shots.
- It may help to go back and read “Get the Facts.” Children may use allergy shots if they have ongoing asthma made worse by allergens, but the asthma must be well controlled first.
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How Many Times Can I Receive Allergy Shots
Patients usually notice a decrease in symptoms during the build-up phase of immunotherapy treatment. More significant improvement can take up to 12 months on a maintenance dose, which patients may continue for 3 to 5 years. Studies indicate that the vast majority of patients who stay on their immunotherapy program as recommended achieve lasting resistance to their trigger allergen.
Are Cat Allergy Shots Painful
Weve all experienced getting a shot at a doctors office. They arent enjoyable and sometimes they are painful. It really depends on the type of injection we receive.
Certain shots are meant to go into the muscle while others remain in the superficial layers of skin. Some shots use thick needles while others are small.
When I began allergy shots, I was thankful to see a tiny needle that was to be inserted in the fatty tissue of my skin. It wasnt as painful as I expected and over time I became used to the process .
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Are There Remedies For Cat Allergy Symptoms
Cat allergies range from mild to severe, and the severity often determines how well a patient can manage their symptoms. For those with mild symptoms, lifestyle changes may be enough to reduce cat allergy symptoms. These changes may include keeping cats out of the bedroom, washing hands and changing clothes after handling, and installing HEPA filters to ensure cat dander doesnt spread around the home.
For those with more severe cat allergy symptoms, lifestyle changes may not provide enough relief. Over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal sprays may offer temporary relief. If they dont, a doctor can prescribe stronger allergy medications. While these prescription medicines may reduce symptoms, they dont treat the root cause of a cat allergy and only offer short-term relief.
What Is Accelerated Immunotherapy
Accelerated immunotherapy, also known as cluster allergy shots, is an alternative to traditional allergy shots that speeds up the timeline of the injections and the results. Instead of the usual three- to six-month buildup phase, accelerated immunotherapy delivers the buildup phase in just two to three months. In this situation, the buildup period is used to produce rapid desensitization to allergens.
The schedule of shots during rapid desensitization will vary, based on individual needs and allergist recommendations. In general, the timeline can include up to three shots in one day. Each individual shot in accelerated immunotherapy is the equivalent of multiple traditional allergy shots. This means that your body learns to build a tolerance to allergens more quickly.
After rapid desensitization, patients receive maintenance shots at a decreasing interval similar to the maintenance period in traditional allergy shot therapy.
Benefits of accelerated immunotherapy, or cluster allergy shots, include:
- Reduced time in the build-up phase of treatment
- Faster relief from allergy symptoms
- Long-term decrease in the frequency and severity of allergy symptoms
Whether accelerated immunotherapy is an effective option for a patient depends on several factors, including their type of allergies, their health, and their tolerance to injections. To learn if youre a good candidate for cluster allergy shots, speak to your allergist at Carolina Asthma & Allergy.
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Current Cat Allergy Treatments
If avoiding cats isnt possible, or you just really, really want a cat despite an allergy, Blaiss recommends at a minimum to never allow the cat inside your bedroom, where you spend about eight hours a day.
Products such as antihistamines, nasal steroids and asthma medications can provide some relief. But medications treat symptoms, not the cat allergy itself. To do that, you need immunotherapy, which is given as shots in an allergists office.
Immunotherapy retrains the immune system to tolerate more cat protein without reacting. Typically, patients go to an allergists office for weekly injections with small amounts of cat protein during a buildup phase that lasts for several months. Thats followed by monthly maintenance injections for three to five years.
Research shows that cat immunotherapy can reduce symptoms in many people, and that the results last. But some people react to the injections, while others quit because of the inconvenience of as many as 80 injections in all.
A lot of people quit before three years. There really is a need to get the duration of it down, says Dr. Harold Nelson, an allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver.
How Do Allergy Shots Help
Allergy shots contain a tiny amount of a purified form of the allergen causing problems. Doctors increase the dose slowly over the first 36 months. This lets the immune system safely adjust and build immunity to the allergens. This is called the buildup phase.
The highest effective safe dose becomes a child’s monthly maintenance dose. Health care providers give this to the child for about 3 to 5 years. Most kids will need fewer shots over time.
Some kids’ allergy symptoms ease during the buildup phase. Others don’t feel better until they’re into the maintenance phase. After years of getting allergy shots, some may have lasting relief from symptoms.
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What Are Allergy Shots
When you get immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots, your allergist or doctor injects small doses of substances that you are allergic to under your skin. Over time, this decreases your reaction to the allergen and may reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Allergy shots are available for allergies to:
- Animal dander .
Sublingual immunotherapy may be another way to treat certain pollen allergies. Instead of getting shots, you dissolve a tablet under your tongue daily. Each tablet has a small amount of allergen in it. This treatment, like allergy shots, helps your body “get used to” the allergen, so your body reacts less to it over time. Talk to your doctor if you have a pollen allergy and you want to know more about this treatment.
Is Immunotherapy Covered By Insurance
In most cases, health insurance will cover allergy shot treatment because it is an FDA-approved treatment. However, insurance coverage will depend on your provider and your plan. You may have a copay or deductible you need to meet first, in which case some or all expenses may be out-of-pocket.
Most individuals who undergo allergy shot treatment pay little to no money when the treatment is covered by insurance. For those that do not have coverage, SCIT therapy prices vary.
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What Are Allergies And How Do They Affect Cats
One of the most common medical conditions affecting cats is allergy. An allergy occurs when the cat’s immune system overreacts or is hypersensitive to foreign substances called allergens. Allergens are simply foreign proteins that the body’s immune system tries to remove. Examples of allergens common in humans are pollens, dust, molds, and pet hair. Hypersensitivity in cats can manifest in one of three ways:
1. The most common manifestation is itching of the skin, either localized to one area or a generalized reaction all over the cat’s body.
2. Another manifestation involves the respiratory system and may result in coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. Sometimes, there may be an associated nasal or ocular discharge.
3. The third manifestation involves the digestive system and can result in vomiting, flatulence, and/or diarrhea.
How Much Do Allergy Shots Cost
Health insurance typically covers allergy shots. You may have to pay a copay for each visit. Copays are usually nominal fees.
If you dont have health insurance, have a high deductible, or if allergy shots arent covered under your plan, you may end up spending thousands of dollars a year.
- The cost of allergy shots for 131,493 people totaled $253,301,575. This averages out to around $1,926 per person.
- People with allergies covered about 19 percent of the total costs, while insurers covered about 81 percent.
- On average, treatment lasted 463.1 days .
Before beginning any treatment, talk with your doctor about payment options and costs.
Keep in mind that allergy shots are a long-term commitment. They require many injections, so youll want to plan accordingly if youre paying out of pocket.
Also consider that, over time, allergy shots could save you money on sick visits and over-the-counter allergy medications.
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Pets For Allergic People
No way I was getting rid of that cat, says Ms. Richter, of Colorado Springs, Colo.
When a fish is just not enoughan industry of breeders, veterinarians and pet stores has cropped up to help allergic people bent on becoming one of the two-thirds of American households that include a cat or dog.
Organizations like the American Kennel Club prominently identify breeds such as poodle, bichon frise and schnauzer that are easier than others for people with allergies to tolerate. Some breeders mail, often for a fee, fur samples to test for possible reactions. Breeders advise owners on how to set up separate transition rooms for a new pet and to name godparents to take over if a pet proves too allergy-inducing.
The American Kennel Club gets calls every day from people who want to buy a dog, even though they have an allergy, a spokeswoman says. Such requests spike, breeders say, when low-allergen pets are in the newsas they were this August when the first family adopted its second Portuguese water dog, a breed that doesnt aggravate Malia Obamas allergies.
Ms. Richter was highly allergic, but says she had her heart set on a cuddly, playful pet. After doing some research, she and her husband brought home Jack, a wavy-haired feline breed called Devon rex, which she did fine withno allergy pills necessary.
Cameron plays with the cats and kisses them, says Ms. Richter. We couldnt imagine not having our Devons.
How Is Pet Allergy Diagnosed
A diagnosis of pet allergy is made based on your medical history and a physical examination. Your doctor might refer you to an allergy specialist for a skin-prick test or blood test for confirmation.
Avoid online or over-the-counter allergy test kits or other unconventional allergy tests. Many are not evidence-based, and dont provide accurate results.
In particular, avoid unproven tests and treatments such as applied kinesiology, the Vega test, hair analysis, serum-specific IgG tests, Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques , and cytotoxic tests such as ALCAT, FACT and Bryans test.
See your doctor for advice.
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