How Do Allergy Shots Work
Allergy shots work by gradually exposing your immune system to the specific substances youre allergic to, therefore, training it not to react or cause symptoms. If you start immunotherapy, youll go into your allergist office for treatment over several years.
During the appointments, you receive an injection filled with your specific allergen. Your allergist uses a very limited dose of the allergen at first, then increases it slowly over time. The goal of the treatment is to create an immunity or desensitization to the allergen.
When immunotherapy first begins, youll see your allergist once or twice weekly. This is called the build-up phase because youre building up the amount of the allergen in your system. You will eventually reach a maintenance dose, which is the maximum dose and concentration for your allergens that is considered optimal for therapeutic response.
Once youre on the maintenance dose, your allergist visits for injections will decrease in frequency in a sequential pattern over time until eventually you will reduce to just monthly appointments. This maintenance phase usually lasts for three to five years for the best therapeutic benefit and long-term relief of your symptoms.
What To Do When You Have Really Bad Allergies
Yes. Its important to know that some allergies are linked to others.
For example, if youre allergic to latex, its possible that youll also react to avocados, kiwifruit and other tropical fruit. And if youre allergic to birch pollen, its possible that youll react to apples or peaches as well.
Its important to note that what seems like a food allergy can sometimes be food intolerance instead, notes Dr. Faltay.
How To Cope With Hay Fever Symptoms
Regardless of whether your allergies are mild or severe, or if it is a skin or eye allergy, it doesnt take long for you to start feeling lousy after seasonal allergy symptoms strike. So how do you prevent seasonal allergies from getting in the way of your day? Here are some helpful tips to reduce or keep symptoms from worsening.
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Need More Help Visit Gohealth Urgent Care
If these at-home remedies do not work and youre experiencing severe allergy symptoms, please visit an urgent care clinic for treatment. GoHealth Urgent Care can help diagnose, treat, and manage your seasonal and acute allergies, as well as related conditions.
Experience the quality on-demand care that you deserve. Its easy and convenient to schedule a visit with one of our knowledgeable providers today.
Are Allergies In Kids Different Than In Adults
It can be especially difficult to control allergies in kids, Dr. Leeds says, adding that kids tend to spend more time outdoors and, thus, are exposed to more pollen. A high pollen count day is not going to deter them from going to the playground, says Dr. Leeds. Thats unlike an adult who might say, Im going to drive my car to work, keep the windows rolled up, and not take that walk during lunch.
Another difference is that allergies in adults are usually well-established, while in kids there is the hope that they will outgrow them, Dr. Leeds says.
With kids, we talk about the concept of atopy, which is an allergic predisposition, she says. For a child with a strong family history of any allergiesand especially for those who develop symptoms early in lifedoctors look out for the four main allergic diseases: eczema, food allergies, nasal allergies, and asthma. These allergic diseases, in general, are increasing in prevalence, she says.
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What Causes Seasonal Allergies
Airborne agents , such as pollen, grass, mold, cedar, ragweed, or even some chemicals, are breathed in. Once they enter our bodies, these allergens start to wreak havoc. The immune system mistakenly sees the pollen as a danger and releases antibodies that attack the allergens and release a chemical called histamine into the nose, eyes, and lungs. Histamine is intended to attack harmful agents and remove them from the body. One of the main things that histamine does is cause inflammation.
The good news is there are many natural remedies you can try to control your allergy symptoms:
How Long To I Have To Keep Getting My Allergy Shots
There are two phases to allergy shot therapy: a build-up phase and a maintenance phase.
- Build-up phase: In this phase you will start with a low dose injection and build to a higher dose of allergens over time. For typical immunotherapy this phase lasts from 6 to 10 months, depending on how often you get your shots and how well you tolerate them. The build-up phase for venom therapy generally lasts for 10 weeks.
- Maintenance phase: When you reach your effective therapeutic dose you will begin the maintenance phase. During this phase you receive your allergy shots less often, usually every 3 to 4 weeks. The maintenance phase typically lasts 3-5 years .
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Better Safe Than Sorry
At the end of the day, if you are unsure about your symptoms, then you should err on the side of caution.
If you aren’t feeling well, stay indoors and contact your health care provider. This is the best way to ensure that you aren’t contributing to the spread of coronavirus. You may also call the UMMS Nurse Call Line to discuss your symptoms. Only people with symptoms can get a doctor’s order to get tested for coronavirus.
Even if you don’t have symptoms or your doctor confirms that you have allergies, continue to wear a mask, social distance and get vaccinated to slow the spread of the disease.
UMMS provides our expert-reviewed content to keep our community informed. When sharing this copyrighted content, please link to our site so that critical updates are reflected.
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How Do I Avoid Allergens
The best way to prevent allergy symptoms and limit your need for allergy medicine is to avoid your allergens as much as possible. This includes removing the source of allergens from your home and other places you spend time. You can also reduce your symptoms to airborne allergens by washing out your nose daily. You can do this by using a nasal saline rinse using a squeeze bottle or a Neti pot.
No : Allergic Shiners
Dark circles are another sign of allergies. You get them when youre always rubbing itchy eyes. Take antihistamines to put a stop to symptoms like itchy, teary eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose. If you already take them but they donât work really well, talk to your doctor about changing your treatment plan.
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Seasonal Allergies: What You Need To Know
Pollen is an airborne substance that comes from grass, flowering plants, trees, and weeds. In the past 12 months, 19.2 million adults and 5.2 million children under 18 were diagnosed with hay fever, the name given to allergic rhinitis caused by pollen. When someone has hay fever, their immune system identifies pollen as a threat and releases signals that lead to congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, as well as problems like sinus pressure and allergic conjunctivitis .
The amount of pollen in the air depends on the season and the geographic area in which you live. The study reported in PNAS found the most pronounced effects in Texas and the Midwestern United States. However, the Northeast can have a significant spring allergy season as well, Dr. Leeds says. Tree allergies are especially common in New Englandparticularly due to birch and oak. Pollen allergies can also cause a cross-reaction with certain foods in some people symptoms include an itchy or tingling mouth and throat after eating raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
People may also have allergic reactions to grass pollen in the late spring to early summer and weed pollen in the fall. Many people are multi-sensitized, so they are allergic to more than one type of pollen, and they can be symptomatic through all of the warm weather seasons, Dr. Leeds says. Pollen can be carried by the wind, so windy days are the worst.
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How Are Seasonal Allergies Treated
There are many ways to treat seasonal allergies, depending on how bothersome the symptoms are. An important part of treatment is knowing what someone is allergic to. Some kids can get relief by reducing or eliminating exposure to the allergens that bother them.
If certain seasons cause symptoms, keep the windows closed, use air conditioning instead of fresh air when possible, and stay indoors when pollen counts are high. It’s also a good idea for kids with seasonal allergies to wash their hands or shower and change clothes after playing outside.
If reducing exposure isn’t possible or doesn’t help, doctors may recommend medicines for allergy symptoms. These can include oral, nasal, and ocular antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays. If these don’t help or a child has to take multiple medicines to ease symptoms, the doctor may recommend seeing an allergist. The allergist can decide whether allergy shots could help.
No Youre Not Imagining It: Seasonal Allergies Are Worse This Year
School of Medicines Fred Little on reasons for the spike and what you can do about it
Its that time of year againyoure sitting outdoors enjoying the sunshine, when all of a sudden, you start to feelitchy. Within an hour, that itch has turned into a full-blown sneeze attack complete with watery eyes and congestion, and now youre running to the nearest pharmacy to buy some Zyrtec.
Seasonal allergiesor an allergic reaction to the tree and grass pollens that float around in the spring and summer, known as allergic rhinitisaffect nearly 60 million people in the United States every year. This year, theyre particularly bad in the Northeast, which can be attributed to factors such as climate change and recent dry spells, says longtime allergist Fred Little, a Boston University School of Medicine clinical associate professor of medicine and the director of the Boston Medical Center allergy-immunology fellowship.
We spoke with Little about how allergies work and what you can do to cut down on the sneezing, itching, and watery eyes.
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Keep Your Home Safe From Allergens
There are many steps you can take around your house to help with seasonal allergies.
Use humidifiers and dehumidifiers at the right times for your allergies
In the spring, summer and early fall, remove excess moisture from the air using a dehumidifier or air conditioner. This can help reduce the growth of mold and mildew spores known to cause some allergies.
In dry winter months, a humidifier can add moisture to a room to soothe dry, irritated nasal passages. Make sure to clean and change the filter regularly. Unfortunately, moisturized air can also cause dust mites to increase.
Change to HEPA filters for your heating and cooling system
A HEPA filter can trap airborne allergens like pollen and pet dander, helping keep more irritants out of the air. Just make sure youre regularly replacing filters particularly during high usage times. A good rule of thumb is to check your filter once a month to see if it needs replacing.
Consider adding an air purifier, too
Air purifiers can also be used to clean finer particles and fumes that your furnace or air conditioning filter cant catch. There are several different types of air purifiers and each works differently to clean the air you breathe. So, research your options to determine which may be the best fit for you needs.
Other ways to reduce allergens in your home:
What Are The Side Effects Of Allergy Shots
The side effects of allergy shots are usually minimal. Most commonly, patients will feel slight itching or swelling at the site of the injection. Other people may experience more severe allergy symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and hives. While rare, a person can have a serious reaction, like anaphylaxis, typically within 30 minutes after the shot is given. Therefore, waiting at an allergy office is required after an allergy shot is given. It is important for trained allergy staff to monitor patients after their allergy shots to ensure no reaction occurs.
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Feeling Tired All The Time
Its not just all the congestion that makes you feel out of it. Seasonal allergies themselves can drag your energy down, says Eugene Hurwitz, M.D., medical director of the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia. When your body encounters an allergen, it releases histamine, and histamine in your body can make you feel fatigued, he says. In addition, the inflammation that happens in your sinuses when you are allergic to something can cause sinus infections, which will also leave you feeling slow.
Symptoms Of Allergies In Dogs
The symptoms of allergies in dogs may vary depending on the cause. A dog that goes into anaphylactic shock, for instance, will have a drop in blood pressure followed by shock, which is very different from a skin condition.
In general, however, the following symptoms could be a sign of an allergic reaction.
- Swelling of the face, ears, lips, eyelids, or earflaps
- Red, inflamed skin
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How To Treat Seasonal Allergies
In most cases, an over-the-counter antihistamine and decongestant will do the trick. If you have severe allergies, however, your doctor may prescribe nasal steroid spray or allergy shots to dampen symptoms.
Its always a good idea to try your best to avoid your triggers, but that doesnt mean you have to hole up inside with a box of tissues. To get less exposure to your allergens:
- Keep your windows shut when your allergies are active
- Use an air purifier if youre sensitive to indoor allergens
- Wear a dust mask while doing yard work
- Check your local weather network for pollen forecasts
- Take a shower and wash your hair at the end of each day to get rid of pollen that attached to your clothes, hair and skin
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What Medicines Can I Take For Allergies
Some people dont take allergy medicines because they dont think their symptoms are serious. They may say, Its only my allergies. This can result in painful problems such as sinus or ear infections. Dont take the risk. There are many safe prescription and over-the-counter medicines to relieve allergy symptoms. Here is a short list of allergy medicines:
- Nasal corticosteroids are nose sprays. They reduce swelling. Swelling causes a stuffy, runny and itchy nose. They are the most effective medicines for nasal allergies.
- Antihistamines block histamine, a trigger of allergic swelling. They can calm sneezing, itching, runny nose and hives. They come in pills, liquids, melting tablets or nose sprays. These treat seasonal and indoor allergies.
- Mast cell stabilizers keep your body from releasing histamine. This can help with itchy, watery eyes or an itchy, runny nose. They are available as eye drops or nose sprays.
- reduce stuffiness by shrinking swollen membranes in the nose. But be careful. Using these sprays more than three days in a row may cause the swelling and stuffiness in your nose to get worse. This can happen even after you stop using the medicine. This reaction is a rebound reaction.
- Corticosteroid creams or ointments relieve itchiness and stop the spread of rashes. See your doctor if your rash does not go away after using this cream for a week. Corticosteroids are not the same as anabolic steroids used illegally by some athletes to build muscles.
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Natural Remedies For Allergies
Resolving seasonal allergies may just be a matter of finding and addressing the root cause. Its about getting a deeper level of understanding of why youre having an allergic response and then taking steps to decrease or reverse symptoms, explains Dr. Young.
But if youre not sure of the cause be it tree pollen, ragweed, mold or dust, etc. what can you do to tamp down the sniffling, sneezing and wheezing that come when seasonal allergy triggers spike? Here are eight ideas you can try.
What Is Allergic Rhinitis
Allergic rhinitis is the medical term for hay fever or allergies. You have an allergy when your body overreacts to things that dont cause problems for most people. These things are called allergens. Your bodys overreaction to the allergens is what causes symptoms.
There are 2 forms of allergic rhinitis:
- Seasonal : Caused by an allergy to pollen and/or mold spores in the air. Pollen is the fine powder that comes from flowering plants. It can be carried through the air and is easily inhaled. Symptoms are seasonal and usually occur in spring, late summer, and fall.
- Perennial: Caused by other allergens such as dust mites, pet hair or dander, or mold. Symptoms occur year-round.
Hay fever is the most common form of allergy. Symptoms of hay fever are seasonal. You will feel worse when the pollens that affect you are at their highest levels.
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Ten Ways To Control Allergies Without Medication
The best way to control allergies without medication is to avoid them altogether, but thats not always possible, or realistic. Some allergens like pollen are tiny, which means they can travel long distances and cover a lot of ground, surfaces, skin and hair. So, unless you have severe allergy symptoms that require medication, there are a lot of ways you can alleviate your symptoms and get back to doing the things you love, including: