>U Mom Knows Best: Do Allergy Shots Work? ~ My Personal Experience

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Do Allergy Shots Work? ~ My Personal Experience

 Allergy shots are proven to be an effective treatment for seasonal allergies and a wide range of other conditions, including Asthma. Do allergy shots work and are they worth the effort and cost? Keep reading to discover my experience with allergy shots.

 If you suffer from allergies, you’re familiar with the constant congestion, sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and other hay fever symptoms that always spring up as springtime rolls around. Or maybe your symptoms plague you all year long because of ever-present pets, mold, and dust. Perhaps your allergies have become so bad that you have allergy-induced asthma.

 For some people, allergy medicines work to stop allergy symptoms but for a lot of people, allergy medicines do not bring any relief to their miserable allergy symptoms. Are you frustrated with no long-term success from oral decongestants, nasal sprays, and eye drops? 

 Allergies are the 6th most common cause of chronic illnesses in the US.

The answer to ending the misery of seasonal allergies is allergy shots but are allergy shots worth it? Do allergy shots really work? Over a year ago these were the questions that I had about allergy shots before I started my allergy shot treatment plan.

 After experiencing a life-threatening allergy reaction, I decided to have allergy testing done. The allergy testing results showed that I was allergic to everything from plants, weeds, grass, pets, dust, and more. These allergies were the cause of my severe asthma symptoms. At the allergy appointment, the doctor gave me two treatment options, prescription asthma medications or allergy shots. 

I Chose Allergy Shots

 I chose allergy shots for my treatment plan to reduce my asthma symptoms that were caused by the many things that I was allergic to. At the time I was apprehensive about starting allergy shots as I was concerned about the side effects that included anaphylaxis and death. I was also concerned about the time commitment for allergy shots.

 The last 16 months have been rough! I started allergy shots in 2022 as a treatment to help with my severe allergy-induced asthma symptoms. I was not even sure that the shots were going to work. The shots were tough as I was being injected with things that I was allergic to and I had some pretty bad side effects. 

 I just received my last build-up allergy shot and now I am on maintenance. The question is do allergy shots work to cure one of their allergies? 

18 months later ~ Allergy shots were an effective treatment plan for me 

 I am happy to inform you that allergy shots worked for me. My allergy symptoms have improved as well as my asthma. 18 months ago, I was experiencing severe asthma symptoms that left me gasping for air several times a day and it was affecting my sleep. It was so bad that I was not able to be outside.

 I recently finished my allergy shot build-up phase and I am amazed at how my body has healed. I am sleeping better and my asthma symptoms have greatly improved. I am glad that I chose allergy shots for my asthma treatment. Receiving allergy shots was not easy for me, due to my asthma. Keep reading to discover my experience with allergy shots.

What are allergy shots?

Allergy shots (also called subcutaneous immunotherapy, or SCIT) are one of the best treatments available for your allergies and asthma. Allergy shots are a type of immunotherapy aimed at reducing or eliminating allergy symptoms.

 Allergy shots use tiny doses of a specific allergen to desensitize your immune system’s response to that allergen. By regularly exposing your body to small amounts of an allergen, you can develop immunity over time. 

Benefits of allergy shots

~ Fewer symptoms and less need for medications 

~ Enjoy outdoor activities 

~ Better sleep

~ Reduce the risk of developing asthma

~ Ability to manage your asthma symptoms naturally 

Common allergens treated by allergy shots

~ Dust mites

~ Pollen (from weeds, flowers, trees, etc.)

~ Animal dander

~ Mold spores

~ Cockroaches

~ Certain stinging insects such as bees, wasps, yellow jackets, fire ants

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I had a longer treatment plan for allergy shots

 A typical allergy shot plan includes a build-up phase and a maintenance phase. The buildup phase generally takes three to six months and the maintenance phase generally continues for three to five years. My build-up phase lasted 18 months, due to the severity of my asthma and mold sickness

 I also experienced some bad reactions to the allergy shots that made my treatment longer. Thankfully, I never experienced any side effects that required an epi-pen or hospitalization. My most severe reactions to the allergy shots were asthma attacks and swelling with redness at the injection site. 

Allergy Shots Tips For Fewer Side Effects

 I eventually learned, through experience, how to manage the side effects of allergy shots. I also stopped telling the shot techs about my allergy shot side effects that did not involve breathing issues, as that would set me back 2 weeks. I learned to deal with my arm having a huge red itchy hive for 3 days after the shot. 

 I also discovered that exercising after my shot appointment, even walking through a store, caused me to have an asthma attack. So I always rested for several hours after my allergy shots. I used my nebulizer a lot during my allergy shot therapy.

I increased my exercise routine 

 Another thing that really helped me during the build-up phase of my allergy shots was exercise. I already exercised regularly but I increased my cardio and strength exercises to make my lungs stronger. My lungs were damaged from my allergies and mold exposure so exercise was how I healed my lungs from trauma. Stronger lungs made it easier to recover faster from an asthma attack.

Will my allergies be cured?

 I would like to think that allergy shots will cure my allergies and asthma but that is not how shots work. The shots can help desensitize your immune system so it does not react to the allergen. For now, my allergy symptoms from seasonal allergies, pets, and dust have been greatly reduced, some people find their symptoms completely disappear and never return. My asthma is still triggered by other things like fragrance, chemicals, smoke, humidity, and mold.

 I was not able to receive allergy shots for mold for several reasons. The main reason there was not any more room in my allergy shot serums. The other reason, my body was exposed to a lot of mold, from a water leak in my home, right before my allergy testing. So the allergy testing did not show my mold allergy. I will have to do allergy shots for mold at a later time.

Next up ~ allergy shot maintenance phase 

 Since I just finish the build-up phase of allergy shots, my next step is a maintenance phase. I will continue receiving the maximum dose of my allergy serum once a month for 3-4 years, so my body will continue to not react to those allergies. At some point during this time, the doctor will have me do allergy testing again to see if I am allergic to the items that are in my allergy serums.

For now, I am feeling so much better, thanks to being able to sleep and not having asthma attacks. I am glad that I said yes to allergy shots.

Check out some additional articles for allergy shot information


Megan said...

Thank you for this - my husband has allergies, and he has considered shots in the past. I'll share your post with him!

Renee Franklin said...

I am so glad they worked for you. I know a couple people they didn't really work at all for.

Anonymous said...

I did allergy shots for many years. Luckily my mother was a nurse and she could administer them to myself and one of my sisters and two of my brothers. For me I stopped because of the fact they did not work all that well for me as they did for some of my siblings that were also taking them. I tend to be allergic to many things --so that could be my issue. I wish anyone doing this program the best as it would have been wonderful if things had worked for me.

Tammy said...

My boss used to have the shots and I have been tested to see if I needed shots. Which I didn't. Seems if I smell something it could cause my allergies to act up. But not really allergic to anything.

AiringMyLaundry said...

I have heard that they can help. I am glad you are feeling better!

Beth said...

I'm glad that the allergy shots have helped you so much! I hope you can take the ones for mold in the future.

Susan said...

Allergy shots, like chemotherapy to a cancer patient, can be very helpful if you can survive the testing! I’m glad you’re feeling better now.

Lisa said...

This is great information to know and brush up on. Thanks for such an informative post!

Richelle Milar said...

I’m glad that allergy shots really did help you. This is so informative thanks for sharing this with us

Rose Ann Sales said...

I’m gonna share this with my friend who’s planning to get a allergy shot, this is really informative

Lavanda Michelle said...

Allergy season can be such a struggle, and it's always interesting to hear about different treatment options.

Melanie Edjourian said...

I pleased to hear that the allergy shots worked for you. It helps to find effective treatment.

Beautiful Touches said...

I'm sorry to hear that you've suffered through allergies for so long but glad to hear that you've been able to alleviate it some through shots!

Christy G said...

I had allergy shots when I was younger. They helped a ton. But now I can’t get them because I’m on immunosuppressive medications due to rheumatoid arthritis.

dilber said...

Your personal journey with allergy shots, from the initial decision to embark on this treatment to the gradual improvements and long-term benefits you experienced, provides a firsthand perspective that many readers can relate to.

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