If medicines can't control your
allergic rhinitis, you may think about having immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots or sublingual tablets. Allergy shots are small doses of
allergens that your doctor injects under your skin.
With sublingual immunotherapy, you dissolve a tablet under your tongue daily. Each tablet has a small amount of allergen in it. These treatments help your body "get used to" the allergen, so your body reacts less to it over time.
Allergy shots work best if you are allergic
animal dander, or
dust mites. Doctors use allergy shots
mainly to treat an allergy caused by one allergen or a closely related group of
them, such as grass pollens. If you are allergic to more than one
type of allergen, you may need to get shots for each type of allergen to
relieve all of your symptoms. The allergens can usually be combined into one or
Deciding on allergy shots is a personal decision. Although expensive, allergy
shots may not cost more than the combined cost of medicine, doctor and
emergency room visits, and missed days of school or work over several years.
But you may need allergy shots for 3 to 5
years. And there is some risk of severe whole-body reactions (anaphylaxis).
For help deciding whether to get allergy shots, see:
- Allergies: Should I Take Allergy Shots?
Because allergic rhinitis can't be cured and may be frustrating to
treat, people may try
alternative treatment methods, such as homeopathy. But
most of these treatments either have not been studied or have not been proved
to work. Such treatments may be expensive. And some can be dangerous to your
Talk to your doctor if you are thinking about trying a complementary or alternative therapy or if you want to know about new treatments that are being studied for allergic rhinitis.