Allergy Immunotherapy

Allergy Immunotherapy

ENT Medical Services has provided treatment for allergy conditions for over 10 years. Allergy conditions account for many sick, nonproductive days for millions of adults and children and can negatively affect quality of life. Allergy symptoms include itchy eyes, nose or throat, nasal congestion, running nose, watery eyes, cough or wheezing. Allergy testing involves either a skin or a blood test to find out what substance or allergen, may trigger an allergic response. If allergy testing shows an allergic response, your physician may recommend allergy immunotherapy.

Allergy immunotherapy is a form of long-term treatment that decreases symptoms for many people with allergic conditions. Immunotherapy, as opposed to allergy medications, treats the underlying allergies and builds tolerance to the antigen, rather than just temporarily blocking the symptoms. Allergy shots are the most common treatment option for allergy immunotherapy. The other treatment option is sublingual immunotherapy allergy drops (SLIT). There are many insurance plans that do not provide coverage for SLIT and only pay for allergy shots. We offer both options in order to better serve your needs.

How Do Allergy Shots Work?

Allergy shots work like a vaccine. Your body responds to injected amounts of a particular allergen, given in gradually increasing doses, over a period of time, which allows tolerance to the allergen.

Allergy shots have shown to decrease symptoms of many allergies. It can prevent the development of new allergies, and in children it may prevent the progression of allergic disease from allergic rhinitis to asthma. The effectiveness of allergy shots appears to be related to the length of the treatment program, as well as the dose of the allergen. Many people experience lasting relief from allergy symptoms.

Are allergy shots effective for food allergies?

Allergy shots are not used to treat food allergies. The best option for people with food allergies centers around identification of the offending foods, which then allows avoidance of that food.

Are There Risks?

A typical reaction is mild redness and swelling at the injection site. Some patients may have increased symptoms transiently on the day of a shot, something which typically resolves as the process progresses.

Serious reactions to allergy shots are rare. Most serious reactions develop within 20 minutes of the allergy injections. This is why it is recommended you wait in your doctors’ office for at least 20 minutes after your receive allergy shots.

If you think you may have allergies, what should you do?

If you suspect you have allergies, please contact us to setup an appointment with one of our physicians to find out if allergy testing is an appropriate consideration for you.

Call 319-351-5680 or 800-642-6217, and select option 1 for appointments.