As efficient as they are, conventional allergy treatments can be inconvenient. After all, each session requires patients to return to the practice, which can be a hassle for many. It can also be dangerous as some people get most of their allergic reactions outside!
Fortunately, immunotherapy at home is now possible with DOCS Urgent Care, keeping patients healthy and allergy-free. This process lets you do the allergy treatments in the comfort of your home instead of going back and forth to the clinic every week.
Immunotherapy at Home: How Does an Allergy Shot Work?
Allergy shots reduce symptoms from natural and synthetic allergens. These injections contain small amounts of a specific allergen, letting your body develop immunity to it over time. In short, they work similarly to vaccines, allowing your body to create new antibodies combatting the invasive substances.
These can improve the way your immune system responds to the allergens, eventually making you resistant to them. Successful immunotherapy lets your body fight these off, reducing adverse symptoms.
Overall, allergy shots thrive on reducing one’s allergy symptoms long-term.
What’s the Best Way to Prepare for Allergy Shots?
Like any other medical treatment, allergy shots have some side effects. What’s the best way to prepare for them? It’s best to avoid doing anything strenuous activity for at least 2 hours before and after administering the shots. Doing anything physically exhausting can boost your body’s blood flow, causing allergens to spread faster.
Even if that won’t likely cause a severe issue, it’s better to be safe.
Also, inform your doctor about any medication or supplements you take. Some of these may interfere with the treatment, raising the risk of side effects. Or worse, you might need to stop allergy shots.
Finally, if you’re currently pregnant or are planning on getting pregnant, consult your doctor if it’s safe for you to continue getting allergy shots.
For better insight, here’s a quick overview of DOCS immunotherapy treatment for allergies:
- Consultation and assessment. The attending provider will determine if you need an allergy test. If so, they’ll conduct a skin test to see if you have allergic reactions to common environmental allergens like dust and pollen.
- Wait for the results. After the skin test, the attending provider will wait for the results, which usually only takes less than one hour. And if you test positive for any of the environmental allergens, your course of treatment will commence.
- Introduction to immunotherapy. The attending provider will give you allergy shots that introduce trace amounts of the allergens you’ve reacted to, like pollen or mold. The injection helps your body develop immunity against them.
- DIY Immunotherapy. After the initial shot, you can now self-administer the rest at home. You’ll only need to do this 3x a week for a year. But you still need to occasionally visit your attending provider every two months to get new serum and dosing instructions if necessary.
- Retest to check on progress. After completing your one-year immunotherapy process at home, you’ll be retested for allergies to assess your progress. But generally, 85% of patients become completely immunized at this point.
What are the Side Effects of Taking Allergy Shots?
The most common side effect of allergy shots is inflammation, resembling small mosquito bites or hives at the injection site. Aside from that, those same areas may also become red and more swollen. These reactions are standard and may happen immediately or several hours after injecting.
You don’t need to do anything when you spot these small red bumps as they’ll eventually go away on their own. But if you want, you can reduce the swelling by applying some ice to the affected areas.
On the other hand, some patients may experience mild allergy symptoms after their shots, such as the following:
- Itchy skin
- Sudden nasal congestion
If you experience any of these, take some antihistamine to ease the symptoms over time.
Also, if you’re feeling ill, let your doctor know, as you might need to skip a shot until you’ve fully recovered. Taking one while you’re sick may increase your risk for more severe side effects.
Allergies can be fatal when not addressed immediately. Thanks to DOCS Allergy Care, it’s possible to treat at home safely. Stay healthy, and inquire about DOCS allergy shots to achieve immunotherapy at home.