If you constantly have issues with sneezing, a runny nose, watery eyes, and congestion, you probably suffer from allergies. Chronic allergies can leave you feeling miserable and can be hard to control even with medication. If you have been taking medication and cannot find relief from your allergy symptoms, you should consider getting immunotherapy to help control your allergy problems. Here are a couple things to know about this form of treatment for chronic allergies.
You Will Need To Get Tested First
When a doctor believes you may have chronic allergy problems, he or she is likely to recommend doing a skin test. A skin test is one of the most effective ways to determine exactly what your body is allergic to, and it offers fast results. During a skin test, the allergy specialist will clean your arm thoroughly and will then apply drops of various allergens directly to your skin. Next, he or she will prick your skin in each of these areas to allow the allergen solutions to actually get inside your skin.
The results of a skin test are based on the way your skin reacts to the allergens. If there is no reaction, you most likely are not allergic to that particular allergen. If you are allergic to it, your skin is likely to get red and puffy. This test can be used to find out most of the things your allergic to, but it commonly tests for things such as mold, mildew, pet dander, pollen, and a variety of food items.
The benefit of getting tested for allergies is that your doctor will be able to use immunotherapy uniquely to target and treat only the things you are allergic to. This may help you finally find the relief you have been desperately looking for since your allergies began.
This Is A Long-Term Treatment Plan With Effective Results
Immunotherapy involves shots, and it often requires dedicating months or years to getting these shots. While this might seem inconvenient for you, keep in mind that it may help tremendously. You may actually be able to experience relief from your allergy symptoms after just a few months of using immunotherapy for treating them.
Once your doctor knows exactly what allergens you are allergic to, he or she will begin the shots. The shots will be required at least a couple times a week to begin, but after that you will only need to get them monthly or every few months. It may require getting shots for several years altogether.
When the shots are administered, they will contain the allergens you are allergic to. The amount they contain is very small, though; however, the doctor will increase the amount as your body begins to react positively to the allergens. Each time they are injected into your body, your immune system should start working to fight them. This will cause your immune system to build a defense against these things. This occurs by your body building antibodies that specifically fight the threats that used to cause your allergy symptoms.
To help increase the effectiveness of the shots, your doctor might suggest trying to stay away from the things you are allergic to. You may also have to continue taking medication during this time to treat the symptoms that you are still experiencing. If you see no improvements with your allergies after a few months, your doctor may recommend stopping the immunotherapy and trying something else to help you find relief from your symptoms.
Immunotherapy for allergies can be an effective treatment option, but it may not work for everyone. If you are interested in getting tested to find out what you are allergic to and finding an effective treatment plan, visit an allergy specialist today.