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
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?
Oral and sublingual immunotherapy is being studied as a way to help treat certain allergies. A person would take pills that have a small amount of allergen in them or would put the allergen under the tongue. This therapy, like allergy shots, is meant to help your body "get used to" the allergen so that you may have fewer or less severe symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you want to know more about this and other new treatments being studied.
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