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27655 Middlebelt Rd, Suite 100, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
(248) 363-3232
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Seasonal Allergies & Treatments

Seasonal Allergies & Treatments

Seasonal Allergy Treatment

  • Allergy Shots (SCIT)
  • Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT): under the tongue drops

Allergy Shots (Immunotherapy)

Allergy shots decrease sensitivity to allergens and often lead to lasting relief even after treatment is stopped. It changes your immune system to stop recognizing your allergies.

Who Can Benefit From Allergy Shots?

Both children and adults can receive allergy shots.

There are two phases:

  • Build-up phase. This involves receiving injections with increasing amounts of the allergens about one to two times per week. Generally ranges from three to six months.
  • Maintenance phase. This begins once the effective dose is reached. During this phase, there will be longer periods of time between treatments, from two to four weeks.

You may notice a decrease in symptoms during the build-up phase, but it may take as long as 12 months on the maintenance dose to notice an improvement. Maintenance treatment is generally continued for three to five years.

Allergy shots have shown to decrease symptoms of many allergies. It can prevent the development of new allergies, and in children it can prevent the progression of allergic disease from allergic rhinitis to asthma. The effectiveness of allergy shots appears to be related to the length of the treatment program as well as the dose of the allergen. Some people experience lasting relief from allergy symptoms, while others may relapse after discontinuing allergy shots.

Are There Risks?

A typical reaction is redness and swelling at the injection site, immediately or several hours after the shot. Occasionally, symptoms can increase allergy symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion or hives.

Serious reactions to allergy shots are rare. Symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction can include swelling in the throat, wheezing or tightness in the chest, nausea and dizziness. Most serious reactions develop within 30 minutes of the allergy injections. This is why it is recommended you wait in our office for at least 30 minutes after you receive allergy shots.

Allergy Shots Without Needles

Sublingual immunotherapy (Allergy Drops or SLIT) are allergy vaccines that are administered under the tongue. Sublingual immunotherapy is not considered more effective than allergy injection therapy, but there are several situations when SLIT may be a reasonable alternative.

What are the advantages of SLIT versus allergy injection therapy?
  1. Because SLIT is much less likely to cause adverse reactions, it can be self-administered at home. The patient no longer must drive to the doctor’s office every week to get a shot and wait 20-30 minutes.
  2. For patients who suffer from hay fever only in the Spring or late Summer, starting SLIT therapy 6-8 weeks before the pollen season may allow for rapid desensitization to tree, grass, ragweed or weed pollen, without having to take allergy shots for the entire year.
  3. For patients already on allergy injection therapy, SLIT can be used as an add-on treatment, especially during high pollen seasons, when allergy shots alone are not providing satisfactory symptom relief.
  4. SLIT therapy can be given to highly allergic infants and young children not old enough to tolerate allergy shots.
  5. Patients with a real fear of needles can alternatively choose SLIT for allergic desensitization.
  6. Patients who travel frequently for work or on vacation, SLIT allows the patient to continue allergic desensitization, without having to find a new doctor’s office.