You should talk to your doctor about it. While they can’t cure your allergies, they can really cut down on your symptoms.
The shots work best if you have severe allergies or symptoms that last more than 3 months every year, says Michael Land, MD. They’ll also help if you can't take allergy medicines because of side effects or interactions with your other medications.
Your home is your castle -- except when you’re allergic to it. A recent nationwide survey found that over half of all Americans test positive for at least some allergens, and many of these are indoor allergies such as dust, mold, and pet dander.
How can you allergy-proof your home to make it a refuge, not a source of sneezes? Take a tour of your house from room to room, find out where the allergens are lurking, and get relief from indoor allergies.
They’re a form of immunotherapy, which teaches your immune system not to overreact to allergy triggers. Each shot contains a little bit of the thing that sets your allergy off, like pollen. Over time the dose gets bigger, so your body slowly and safely becomes less sensitive to it.
At first, you'll get the shots once or twice a week for a few months. Some people start to feel relief within the first few weeks, though it may take several months.
When you reach the most effective dose, called your maintenance dose, you'll get a shot every 2 to 4 weeks for 3 to 5 years. Eventually, you may not need them at all, unless you move to an area where the pollen is different.
In most cases, the treatment doesn't cause side effects, other than redness and slight swelling of the skin where you got the shot. Because there's a small chance that you could have an allergic reaction, you’ll get each injection at a doctor's office and stay there for about 30 minutes afterward.
Instead of shots, you can also get immunotherapy with tablets that dissolve under your tongue. They work the same way, but you can take them at home instead of going to see your doctor. The FDA has approved three: Grastek, Oralair, and Ragwitek.