Instead of masking your symptoms, you can treat the cause of your allergies with allergen serums. Available in shots and drops, allergen serums are a form of immunotherapy. Your doctor will expose you to a small amount of the allergen to desensitize your system. The amount will increase over time. Eventually, you can be exposed to a large amount of the allergen without having significant symptoms. Learn more about immunotherapy and allergies.
Understanding allergen serums
When people have allergies, their immune systems react when they are exposed to a moderate to a large amount of an allergen like pet dander or pollen. The exposure causes their bodies to release chemicals to eliminate the allergens. That is why people have runny noses and watery eyes. Immunotherapy uses a small quantity of allergens, so people build a tolerance. The process differs between drops and injections.
Many people choose allergy drops for immunotherapy. The FDA has approved allergy drops to treat allergies to ragweed, dust mites and different types of grass pollens. Allergy drops treat a single allergen. They are available in tablet and liquid form. People must take the drops every three to seven days. A typical treatment protocol lasts for three years.
People do not need to take the drops for the fourth year. Some people do not need to take drops for year five, while others notice the symptoms return. These patients can resume the drops. Those with significant allergies might need to continue the treatment protocol for a lifetime.
People can also choose to take allergen serums via injection. Unlike allergy drops, injections are provided in two stages. First, patients undergo the build-up phase. Patients receive one to two injections a week for three to six months. During this phase, doctors help patients reach an effective dose of the allergen serum.
The maintenance phase is next. Patients only need to receive injections every two to four weeks during this phase. Some patients notice a decrease in symptoms right away. For those with severe allergies, it can take up to a year to notice a difference. Patients receive maintenance shots for three to five years. Then, the symptoms should be greatly reduced or gone.
Unlike allergy drops, allergy shots can treat multiple allergens at once. Along with treating the same allergens as drops, shots can also treat allergies to some fruits and melons. These shots are also used to treat allergic asthma. Many of the reactions that trigger asthmatic episodes can be lessened or eliminated with allergy shots.
Getting allergen serums
If you are interested in allergen serums, you need to meet with a medical provider. The provider will evaluate you to determine what you are allergic to and the severity of the reaction. Then, your provider can recommend allergy drops or injections. Once your provider creates a treatment plan, you can begin immunotherapy. Then, you will be on the road to living a life without allergies holding you back.