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What is Allergy?

Allergy is the immune system misdirected against innocent small particles. Pollen, mold, animal hair, drugs and foods can trigger release of chemicals in the body that cause symptoms. Some symptoms may be nasal and airway swelling, itching, and shortness of breath. Symptons can be life threatening. Often allergic tendencies are inherited and individuals will have others in their family with allergies.

Allergies can contribute to other conditions such as eczema, asthma and chornic infections. Medications can help treat the symptoms if the trigger cannot be avoided. Patients can be desensitized to many allergies with allergy shots.

Allergy Shots & Immunotherapy

While medications can treat the symptoms of allergy, immunotherapy can decrease and resolve the allergy. Allergy immunuotherapy for pollen, animal dander, mold and stinging insects are available. Food allergy is not treated with allergy shots at this time.

Through a series of small shots your body develops tolerance to the allergens that stimulate your allergic symptoms. Allergy testing will identify which allergens can be included in your shot. After a year of regular shots (typically once a week), the allergy symptoms are often gone, but treatment continues with the goal of long-term loss of allergy. The frequency of shots decreases over the next few years.

Allergy shots can be started at any time, from around age five through adulthood. The shots must be given under the supervision of a physician. Allergic reactions after a shot must be identified and treated. Severe reactions are rare. Shot reactions are avoided by regular visits for allergy shots and careful monitoring of early signs of reaction. Successful resolution of allergies with allergy shots can free you from allergic-triggered symptoms. Eczema and asthma are often easier to control and medication cost is substantially reduced.