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Allergic Rhinitis - Other Treatment

Allergy shots

If medicines can't control your allergic rhinitis, you may think about having allergy shots (immunotherapy). Allergy shots are small doses of allergens that your doctor injects under your skin. This helps your body "get used to" the allergen, so you may have fewer or less severe symptoms.

Allergy shots work best if you are allergic to pollens, 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 two shots.

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?

Other treatments

Other ways to treat allergies include taking pills (oral immunotherapy) and putting the allergen under the tongue (sublingual immunotherapy). These treatments work well and are used in Europe and other countries. But researchers in the United States are still finding out how much or how often these allergens should be taken.

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 health.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 30, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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