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An Overview

Allergy shots are regular injections administered over a period to stop or reduce an individual’s sensitivity to allergens. Allergens are substances that can trigger an allergic reaction, such as pollen, dust, or animal dander. Also known as immunotherapy, each allergy shot contains a tiny quantity of the particular substance that triggers your allergic reactions. The essence of this is to stimulate your immune system without causing a full-blown allergic reaction.

Allergy shots are generally administered within a period of three to five years. As time passes, your doctor increases the dose of allergens in your allergy shots to get your body used to the allergens. This helps your immune system build up a tolerance to the allergens, thereby reducing your allergy symptoms over time.

 

Who needs an allergy shot?

Allergy shots are meant for individuals who are allergic to one or more substances. It is a good treatment choice if any of the following applies to you:

  • You have an allergic reaction to pollen, dust, animal dander, insect bites or others
  • Medications don’t control your allergies properly
  • You are interested in reducing your dependence on allergy medication
  • Your allergy medications interact with other medications or causes worrying side effects

 

Are there any associated risks?

In most cases, people don’t experience any allergy shot reaction. However, this doesn’t eliminate their possibility since they typically contain the substances that cause your allergies.

These reactions may appear in form of;

  1. Local reactions: can involve redness, irritation or swelling around the injection spot within a few hours of the injection. Symptoms will normally clear up after some time.
  2. Systemic reactions: less common but characterized by more serious symptoms including nasal congestion, sneezing, hives or in some cases throat swelling and chest tightness.
  3. Anaphylaxis: this is another rare but life-threatening allergy shot reaction that causes difficult breathing and low blood pressure. Anaphylaxis mostly begins within 30 minutes of the injection, but may also begin later than that in some cases.

The likelihood of a severe reaction is quite a scary prospect, but you have nothing to worry about as you will be observed in the doctor’s office for 30 minutes after each shot, which is the timeframe for a severe allergy shot reaction. If you have a severe reaction after leaving the doctor’s office, return immediately or visit the nearest emergency room. You may also administer epinephrine but ensure it is recommended by your physician..

 

What to expect during an allergy shot

If you are wondering what to expect during an allergy shot, the first thing you should know is that allergy shots are generally injected in the upper arm. Before an allergy shot is administered, your doctor will carry out a skin test to confirm your reactions are caused by an allergen. Following confirmation, allergy shots may be given on a two-phase schedule to ensure efficacy.

  • Buildup phase

This usually takes three to six months, with shots given one to three times a week. During this phase, the allergen dose is gradually increased with each shot.

  • Maintenance Phase

The maintenance phase generally continues for three to five years after the buildup phase or even longer. You’ll need maintenance shots about once a month as opposed to weekly shots as in the buildup phase.

 

How soon should you expect results?

Of course, your allergy symptoms won’t stop immediately you commence treatment. Usually, you will notice slight improvements during the first year. These improvements will be more noticeable during the second year and by the third year, you will no longer have significant reactions to allergens.

Some people may decide to stop their allergy shots when they stop experiencing significant symptoms after a few years of successful treatment, while others may need  ongoing shots to keep symptoms in check.

 

If you or someone you know is struggling with an allergic reaction, it is advisable to get your symptoms checked as soon as possible. Simply search for community health center near me on your device to access the closest health facility. The C.W. Williams Community Health Center is also equipped with modern, standard facilities and procedures for efficient allergy treatment. Don’t hesitate to book an appointment with a qualified health professional today!

For more information, please call

  • Pharmacy is 704-335-0505
  • Health & Wellness is 704-393-7720, ext. 1484
  • Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders both is 704-212-5463
  • Food Pantry is 704-393-7720, ext. 1486
  • Diabetes Management is 704-393-7720, ext. 1028
  • Community Outreach is 704-393-7720, ext. 1496
  • Mammography is 704-393-7720, ext. 1484
  • Allergy Testing & Shots is 704-393-7720, ext. 1484
Community Health Center Near Me

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For all other hospital services, please call us at 866-CWW-4-YOU (866-299-4968)

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3333 Wilkinson Boulevard
Charlotte, NC28208
(Temporarily closed due to construction)

5800 Old Pineville Road
Charlotte, NC 28217

800 Clanton Road, Suites M and J
Charlotte, NC 28217

Temporary Dental Location:
2120 Dr. Webber Avenue,
Charlotte, NC 28216

Main Phone:
866-299-4968

Dental Clinic:
980-677-0294
980-335-0503

Pharmacy: 980-335-0505

Patient Transportation: 980-785-5711

Toll Free:
866-CWW-4-YOU
(866-299-4968)

Fax:704-398-3173
(5800 Old Pineville Road - General)

Fax:704-405-9509
(Medical Records – 5800 Old Pineville Road)

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