For more information on allergy testing you can read my post on my personal experience with it, Allergy Testing. Short recap…there are lots of needles and you can see a couple of pics of my allergic reactions (nothing gruesome).
Based on my results from my testing, I am a great candidate for Allergy Shots. Doc actually told me that some of my results were the highest he has seen…is that supposed to make me feel good? Really doesn’t and no I am still not getting rid of my dog although my highest allergic reaction was to dog dander.
They gave me a couple flyers with info on getting allergy shots. I am going to share some of that info with you if anyone else is interested in getting allergy shots.
– The basis of allergy shots is they are injecting you with small doses of what you are allergic to so that your body can slowly become immune or less sensitive to them.
– To get allergy shots, you have to get allergy tested…sorry no way around that.
– For me, I was required to get an Epi-pen (I don’t know if this is required for everyone) but I have to take it with me when I get my allergy shots if I get an adverse reaction.
– Allergy shots are given weekly. I was told by my allergist that my allergies may go away after 2 years if I stay on the allergy shot regimen. You could feel better after a few weeks but it could take 2 to 3 months before you experience significant relief from your symptoms.
– After you get your shots, you have to wait 15-20 minutes in the doctor’s office so that they can check on you before you leave.
– They will not give you your allergy shot if you have a fever of 100 degrees or more, during an asthma attack, if an allergic reaction flares, if you have had heavy exposure to an allergen or before or after strenuous exercise. During an asthma attack? Not sure if you would even want the shot then.
– You cannot take any beta-blockers while on allergy shots.
– Allergy shots are given in the upper arm and there are normally 4 shots, 2 in each arm. When you get your first allergy shot or when they up your dosage, they will do a small skin pricks before they give you the injection just to make sure there is no severe allergic reaction.
– The downsides to allergy shots. You can get a local reaction which is just redness and swelling at the injection site. You can get a systemic reaction which is less common but it would be increased allergy symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, hives, etc. You can also get a very rare but serious systemic reaction called anaphylaxis (what the epi-pen is for). If you have an anaphylactic reaction you will know it. Your throat will swell up, you could have wheezing, tightness in the chest, nausea or other symptoms. If you experience any of those symptoms and you are not in the doctor’s office or near a hospital you are supposed to jab your epi-pen in your thigh. Sounds fun, huh? Hope I didn’t scare anyone off there.
All right so anyone doing allergy shots now? I would like to hear about your experience. Have you had any reactions, hopefully not. How long have you been on them and are your symptoms getting any better?
My allergist did tell me another option would be to do some sort of drop under your tongue. It would be daily. I guess it is widely used overseas but here insurance doesn’t cover it. I forget the name but I will look it up and see what I can find out about it.