Understanding Immunotherapy

If you have chronic allergies that cause moderate to severe symptoms, you may be looking for a reliable alternative to allergy medications.

The medical team at Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic offers comprehensive care for different types of persistent respiratory issues, including allergies. One treatment option that may work for you may be immunotherapy.

Why you have allergies

Allergies are your body’s overreaction to substances in the environment generally considered harmless to the population at large.

When you come into contact with pollen, dust, pet dander, or other allergen, your immune system produces antibodies to fight against a perceived invader. These antibodies are what trigger allergy symptoms, like a runny nose, sneezing, and shortness of breath.

While medications can effectively relieve allergy symptoms, they can become less effective over time. When you can’t find relief from your symptoms with over-the-counter or prescription medications, or if you’re looking to reduce your reliance on the medicines, the team at Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic can help.

The providers offer on-site allergy testing to confirm the source of your allergy symptoms and can determine if you’re a candidate for immunotherapy.

How immunotherapy treats allergies

Immunotherapy is an allergy treatment option that helps you become less allergic to certain substances. The goal of treatment is to reduce your body’s reaction to pollen, dust, and other common allergens in your environment, so you won’t experience additional allergy symptoms over time.

This therapy involves exposing your immune system to gradually increasing doses of the allergen via injection. The more you’re exposed to the allergen, the less sensitive you can become to it.

Immunotherapy also helps reduce the inflammation in your nose and throat, reducing your risk for respiratory issues and an allergy-triggered asthma attack.

What to expect during immunotherapy

Your provider at Primary Care Walk-In Medical Clinic may recommend immunotherapy if you have increased sensitivity to several allergens. Immunotherapy injections, also known as allergy shots, changes your immune system to prevent allergy attacks.

The medical team provides medically supervised injections in-office to monitor your body’s response and protect you from side effects. The therapy involves two phases to work effectively.

Build-up phase

During the build-up phase of immunotherapy, you receive injections of the allergens one to two times a week for a period of three to six months.

Maintenance phase

To help you maintain the effectiveness of immunotherapy, you begin receiving maintenance injections soon after the initial effective dose is reached. Your provider can determine how often you need additional injections based on your needs, but usually injections are needed every two to four weeks.

Immunotherapy can also be delivered sublingually, in the form of tablets that quickly dissolve under your tongue. Tablets may be suitable if you are allergic to only one substance.

Enjoying the results of immunotherapy

During the build-up phase of your treatment, you may notice a decrease in your allergy symptoms right away. However, it can take up to 12 months of injections to receive the full benefit of immunotherapy.

Throughout your maintenance phase of treatment, your provider continues to monitor the success of your therapy. If all is working well for you, you may need to continue with your maintenance injections for up to five years.

To find out if you’re a candidate for immunotherapy to prevent allergy symptoms, book an appointment online or by phone today or visit the Primary Care Walk-In Medical Center nearest you as a walk-in for more information.

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