Do Allergy Shots Work? Yes! But SLIT Drops Also Work And May Be Safer
Allergy shots are a series of injections that are one form of immunotherapy. Immunotherapy helps your body grow accustomed to the substances that are causing an allergic reaction. Allergy shots aren’t a short-term proposition. They can take three to five years to have a complete effect relieving all allergy symptoms. Allergy shots may be recommended if you have allergy symptoms more than three months a year and changing your environment is not an option. They may also be a good idea conventional allergy medication doesn’t help as much as you’d like. So how do allergy shots work?
How Do Allergy Shots Work and How Often Do You Take Them?
First, you need to be tested to determine what substances are causing your allergies. Allergy shots contain tiny amounts of the allergens that are causing your symptoms. You may be allergic to pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, and a number of other substances. Allergy shots work by gradually exposing your body to the allergic substance, eventually reducing your allergic response and undesirable allergy symptoms.
Allergy shots are administered once or twice a week for several months. Typically, you’ll get the shot in your upper arm. Allergy shot doses will increase in strength until you get to the desired maintenance dose. Then your shot frequency will change. You’ll go for allergy shots every two to four weeks for four to five months. Follow up maintenance shots usually occur once a month for up to five years.
How Do Allergy Drops Work?
Allergy drops are a different way to administer tiny amounts of allergens and improve your allergy symptoms. The drops are placed under your tongue or sublingually, and unlike shots, you can administer the drops yourself. Allergy drops are usually administered in a vial of liquid, and another type comes in tablet form.
Allergy drops are also referred to as SLIT (Sublingual Immunotherapy). Neither SLIT nor allergy shots directly treat allergy symptoms. Both of the therapies reduce allergy problems and are considered preventive care. SLIT or allergy drops include extracts of the allergic substances that can cause allergic reactions.
The SLIT offered by BackFit is designed to help relieve the symptoms of Arizona’s seasonal allergens. Most allergy therapy regimes recommend that you start SLIT 8 to 10 weeks before allergy season starts. For non-seasonal allergies, you can start the treatment at any time. The drops are applied under your tongue daily for 9 weeks. You’ll use maintenance doses after the initial 9 week period.
What Kind of Allergies Can SLIT Treat?
Over 20 years of studies have shown that SLIT is considered safe and can be effective in treating allergies caused by seasonal allergens like pollen, and other allergens like mold, dust mites, and pet dander. Some of the common allergies in Arizona include mulberry, ash, and mesquite. Ragweed and Bermuda grass are two other common allergic offenders.
Many people think that our dry climate reduces mold, but modern climate systems can harbor mold as well as older construction. Dust is another allergen which causes many problems in our area.
What Can Happen if I Don’t Treat My Allergies?
Allergy symptoms are unpleasant enough on their own, but many people don’t consider the long-term health repercussions of untreated allergies. One of the most dangerous effects of untreated allergies is sleep deprivation. Adolescents need 9 to 11 hours of sleep a night to maintain good health, and adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation not only affects your driving ability and work performance, but a lack of sleep can also cause weight gain, inflammation, and vulnerability to infections.
How Can SLIT Therapy Help Me?
Before starting SLIT therapy with allergy drops, you should be tested to determine your allergies. BackFit will test for over 50 allergens, including ones that are specific to our Arizona climate and lifestyle. Depending upon which allergies you have, you will receive SLIT drops tailored to your needs. SLIT drops are more convenient than allergy shots, and they may take effect more quickly than shots. If any side effects occur, they are generally mild. If you’re tired of suffering seasonal allergies, or you’re tired of allergy medications that make you feel as tired and ill as the allergies, contact BackFit for a consultation about how SLIT allergy immunotherapy could help you prepare for allergy season.