Allergy shots, also known as allergy immunotherapy, have been proven effective for various allergies. This treatment involves gradually exposing the body to small amounts of the allergen, which helps the immune system build a tolerance over time. For seniors, allergy shots can be particularly important, as they can help prevent more severe health issues associated with untreated allergies. In this article, we will explore the efficacy of allergy immunotherapy and its role in senior health.
What is an Allergy Shot?
Allergy immunotherapy (AIT), better known as allergy shots, is a treatment designed to help reduce the body’s immune response to a particular allergen. Immunotherapy comes in different forms, including sublingual (under the tongue) and subcutaneous (under the skin), but subcutaneous allergy immunotherapy is the most common.
The subcutaneous method involves injecting a small dosage of the allergen into the body, helping it reduce reactivity by limiting the production of the “blocking” antibody responsible for creating your allergy symptoms.
It works because it helps “train” the body not to react to an allergen, whether pet dander or pollen. The incremental increases of the allergen in the shot help the immune system become less sensitive. The symptoms you experience in an allergy stem from the reaction that takes place, where the antibodies your body produces identify the substance as harmful, even though it isn’t.
The repeated, slowly increasing exposure to the allergen “trains” your body, reducing the reaction you experience. Generally, it takes one to three years to enjoy the full benefits of allergy immunotherapy, so it requires a longer-term commitment. However, if you’re experiencing pesky allergies, the time commitment is well worth it.
Importance of Allergy Shots for Seniors
Allergy shots can be essential for senior health. Our immune system weakens as we age, making us more susceptible to allergies and their associated symptoms. Allergy shots work by gradually exposing the body to small amounts of the allergen, which helps the immune system build up a tolerance over time. This can significantly reduce allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
For seniors, allergy shots can be especially beneficial because they can help prevent more severe health issues arising from untreated allergies. For example, allergies can exacerbate respiratory conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which are more common in older adults. By reducing allergy symptoms, allergy shots can help seniors breathe easier and improve their overall quality of life.
It’s important to note that allergy shots are not a quick fix and require a commitment to a long-term treatment plan. However, for seniors who suffer from allergies, the benefits of allergy shots can be well worth the effort. If you’re a senior who experiences allergy symptoms, talk to your doctor about whether allergy shots may be a good option for you.
How Effective Are Allergy Shots?
Allergy immunotherapy has been around for over a century. It was initially introduced in 1911, known as allergen desensitization or hypo-sensitization, by Leonard Noon and John Freeman. In the years since its introduction, immunotherapy has undergone numerous studies and trials that showcase its efficacy.
Numerous research and clinical trials demonstrate the effectiveness of repeated injections, showcasing how they can help achieve an allergen-specific tolerance that offers clinical benefits beyond the final injection.
Additional studies continue building on this foundation, establishing real-life applications and the remarkable efficacy of these shots. For example, one study examined allergy immunotherapy-treated subjects. The study discovered that the treatment was consistently associated with substantial reductions in allergic rhinitis and asthma prescriptions, including asthma controller and reliever prescriptions, compared to the control group.
On top of these findings, the study discovered a significantly greater likelihood of stepping down asthma treatment in the allergy immunotherapy group.
It’s important to note that the results vary from person to person, as every individual is different. Some people experience a relapse in symptoms after discontinuing their treatment program, while others continue to reap the benefits beyond discontinuation. That said, allergy immunotherapy has proven to be a highly effective solution for various allergies.
How Effective Are Allergy Shots for Cats?
Immunotherapy can be a handy tool if your go-to furry companion is a cat, but your allergy gets in the way. It can help relieve the discomfort associated with a cat allergy, from a runny nose to hives, allowing you to spend time with your furry friend without irritating symptoms.
But how effective are allergy shots for cat allergies? Immunotherapy has proven to be a viable and effective solution to cat allergies, especially after one to three years. This timeframe can vary based on how your body reacts to the treatment, but these shots can be an excellent way to alleviate allergy symptoms.
How Effective Are Allergy Shots for Dogs?
Dogs can be excellent companions during your or your loved one’s retirement years, but allergies can get in the way. With immunotherapy, you can take steps toward relieving that allergy, potentially allowing you to enjoy spending time with your furry friend, free of pesky allergies.
Of course, the timeframe for reducing the immune response varies, but these shots can be highly effective for dogs.
Allergy shots have been proven to be an effective treatment option for relieving allergy symptoms, including those associated with cat and dog allergies. While they require a long-term commitment, allergy shots can significantly improve the quality of life for seniors who suffer from allergies.
By gradually building up the immune system’s tolerance to allergens, allergy shots can help prevent more serious allergy-related health issues and allow seniors to breathe more easily. If you’re considering allergy shots as a treatment option, it’s essential to talk to your doctor to determine if they’re right for you.