If you are allergic to pollen, mold or other hard-to-avoid substances, allergy shots can provide relief. The treatment, also called allergen immunotherapy, slowly and safely builds up your tolerance, lessening problems such as these:
- Allergic rhinitis (stuffed or runny nose, sneezing)
- Allergic conjunctivitis (itchy, watery eyes)
- Sensitivity to insect bites or stings, such as those of bees, wasps and fire ants
Who is a good candidate for allergy shots?
Allergy sufferers of all ages — from children to older adults — can benefit from allergy shots. Allergy shots can effectively lessen or prevent problems caused by many common allergens, including the following:
- Weed and tree pollen
- Animal dander
- Dust mites
Allergy shots are not used to treat food allergies.
Getting allergy shots at Rush
When you get allergy shots, a clinician gives you injections containing small amounts of the substances that trigger your allergic reactions. Here’s how it works:
- For the first nine to 12 months, you get shots at least once per week.
- For the next three to five years, you get shots at less frequent intervals (typically once every four to six weeks).
- The injections increase in size over time. With repeated exposure, your body gradually develops more antibodies, or proteins in your blood that protect you from allergens.
- Thanks to these antibodies, your symptoms lessen or even disappear.
Why choose Rush for allergy shots?
- Many people with allergies also have asthma — and vice versa. That’s why Rush has a Comprehensive Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center where doctors work with children and adults to deal with all of these related problems at the same time.