Premier Allergy and Asthma: What is Immunotherapy and Can it Cure My Allergies?

Can a series of injections actually cure your allergies? Not really. But they can make you feel like you don’t have allergies

If you have allergies, you probably know that the itchy eyes, nasal drainage, hives, and other symptoms you experience are related to your immune system mistaking essentially harmless substances that you inhale, eat, or touch as deadly invaders meant to be conquered.

This overreaction by your immune system triggers a series of responses that produce antibodies and powerful chemicals such as histamine to eradicate a substance (allergen) it identifies as an infection or parasite. It’s the immune system’s response that causes your symptoms. 

Immunotherapy is designed to stop the reaction and thus control or eliminate the symptoms.

At Premier Allergy and Asthma, our board-certified allergy experts are well-acquainted with the life-changing benefits of immunotherapy for many of our patients. If allergies are disrupting your life, immunotherapy may be the next best thing to a cure.

How immunotherapy works

Immunotherapy is designed to address the underlying cause of your allergies by slowly desensitizing or “vaccinating” your immune system against substances it mistakes for toxins. Over time, it can reduce your symptoms so you respond more like someone without allergies might to bee stings, pollen, dust, etc.

Without allergies, you may, for instance, produce a healthy sneeze to clear your nasal passages of excess dust or develop a red bump with localized swelling and pain after a bee sting. For individuals with bee venom allergies, however, a bee sting can become a life-threatening emergency.     

At Premier Allergy and Asthma, our priority is to treat the whole patient, which includes relieving your symptoms and providing treatment that helps ensure allergies don’t control your life. For many individuals, immunotherapy does just that.  

Immunotherapy is not for everyone

To determine if you’re a good candidate for immunotherapy, your Premier Allergy and Asthma allergist begins with a thorough evaluation that includes a detailed review of your allergy symptoms, overall health, and past response to treatment. A vital step in this evaluation is allergy testing to accurately identify the substances that trigger your immune system.

As a result of this evaluation, your allergist may recommend immunotherapy if:

Immunotherapy can be quite effective for both children and adults. It’s often recommended for individuals with severe reactions to bee venom and other allergens that are so common in most environments that they’re hard to avoid.

Types of immunotherapy

Doctors have treated allergy symptoms with immunotherapy for more than a century, and it has further evolved over time with improved testing and administration.

It’s imperative, however, that this type of therapy be closely supervised by a highly trained and experienced allergist who has the necessary skills to respond immediately to any adverse reactions you may experience.

At Premier Allergy and Asthma, we offer:

Traditional immunotherapy

For this type of immunotherapy, you receive weekly injections for about a year that are tapered to biweekly and then monthly.

Cluster immunotherapy

For a quicker version of immunotherapy, you receive injections clustered in eight short appointments over 4-6 weeks, followed by biweekly and then monthly maintenance doses.

Rush immunotherapy

To speed allergy relief, you receive 4-6 injections in one day, spaced an hour apart, and then weekly injections for 20 weeks, followed by biweekly and then monthly maintenance injections.

Oral food immunotherapy

This requires daily visits for a time period when you consume ever-increasing but very small amounts of the food that triggers your allergy. This helps your Premier Allergy and Asthma specialist determine which type of immunotherapy best serves your needs.

For more information about immunotherapy and other highly effective allergy and asthma treatment, schedule a visit today at Premier Allergy and Asthma. Call one of our eight locations in Ohio or request an appointment online. 

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