Immunotherapy is also known as ‘allergy shots’. It is a long-term allergy treatment given by allergy specialist doctors. Allergy shots help people to get used to with allergens. This therapy desensitizes the allergy patient toward allergens and offer lasting relief from allergy symptoms. Immunotherapy remains effective even after stopping the treatment. This makes it a beneficial treatment approach for many allergy sensitive people.
What is immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy specifically targets on particular allergen or allergens and works to modify the process which results allergy symptoms to the patient. It is basically a process of giving injections at regular intervals. The time period of this therapy is 3 to 5 years. Each injection contains a small quantity of the specific substance with which a patient is allergic. Over time, allergy doctor increases the amount of allergens so that patient’s body gets used to the allergens.
This treatment prepares immune system to tolerate the allergen which is causing allergy symptoms. Both children and adults can take advantage from immunotherapy. This therapy may also hinder the development of new allergies in the patient’s body.
How Does Immunotherapy Work?
Immunotherapy works like the vaccination. This therapy works in two phases:
Build-up phase: During this phase, you will receive allergy shorts in one or two time a week. The duration of this phase relies on how often the allergy shots are received, but generally ranges from 3 to 6 months.
Maintenance phase: This phase began when effective dose is achieved. Here you will receive allergy shots in 2 to 4 weeks. Maintenance phase is generally continued till 3 to 5 years (depends on your progress).
Why immunotherapy is done?
Immunotherapy may be a good treatment choice for you if:
- Allergy medication is not able to control your allergy symptoms.
- You are not able to avoid the allergens (cause of allergic reaction).
- Allergy medication is giving you bothersome side effects.
- You want a long term relief from allergies.
- You are allergic to insect stings.
Immunotherapy has proved effective in reducing the symptoms of many allergies. This therapy only works for allergic asthma, allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis, and insect venom allergies. Immunotherapies do not work for the food allergies.