19 Common Allergy Shot Questions: My Answers and Experience!

Many people have heard of allergy shots but few people get them.  If your allergies are bad enough you should look into them because they’re the only way to cure allergies.

Although it may be uncomfortable, the best part about allergy shots is they are natural; you’re injected with the same allergens that bother you!

In this article, I’ll answer the most common allergy shot questions and I’ll give my experience as well.  There’s nothing like hearing from someone who has been through the process.  I’ll do my best to give you the information you need.

We’ll cover questions like “do allergy shots work for dogs”, “do allergy shots work for eczema”, “do allergy shots work immediately”, and more.  I hope you find this article helpful.  If so, please share and get the word out that allergy shots can help!

  • Do Allergy Shots Work For Pet Allergies

Absolutely. If you’re only allergic to pets you can take allergy shots for cats, dogs, and more. One shot can contain multiple allergens. The shots will be given to you over time and after a year you should begin to feel better.

If you have an allergy to your pet but are unwilling to let your pets go, consider allergy shots. They have the potential to eliminate your allergy symptoms, although they are a long-term commitment.

  • Do Allergy Shots Work

Yes, allergy shots are the only “cure” for allergies and they usually reduce allergy symptoms by about 70%. Some people that are only allergic to one or two things can reduce allergies 100% but it’s often the case that allergic individuals are allergic to many things.

Related: My Allergy Shot Review

  • How Long Do Allergy Shots Take To Work

Allergy shots are not a quick fix. They take months to begin working and up to 2-3 years of regular shots to maximize benefits.

Most people who receive benefits from the shots take them for up to 5 years to fully change the immune response. After 5 years many allergy shot patients no longer exhibit symptoms and can discontinue the shots.

  • Do Allergy Shots Help Asthma

Allergy shots can definitely help people who suffer from allergic asthma. Asthma is a common result of allergens entering the lungs.

If the asthma-causing allergen can be found by your allergist (positive allergy test) he/she can use allergy shots to lower the chance of asthma.

  • Do Allergy Shots Hurt

You might be surprised to hear this, but allergy shots don’t hurt. I was unsure about allergy shots but I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the injection needle.

Allergy shots use a tiny needle that inserts into your fat. These aren’t the big needle we think of with shots.

Allergy shots will take a few weeks to get used to but you’ll quickly realize the shots are the easy part and well worth the hassle. I’m not sure about you but I’d do just about anything to cure my allergies.

You may experience some itchiness or redness at the shot site but it goes away after a few hours (antihistamines can also help with discomfort after the shot)

  • Do Allergy Shots Help

Yes, allergy shots help. If you want to reduce the expenses on medication and find a permanent cure to your allergy symptoms I’d look into allergy shots.

I’ve improved about 75% and I have ways more energy. My worst symptom was fatigue and I didn’t realize how my allergies were affecting me.

  • Do Allergy Shots Have Steroids

Nope, allergy shots are commonly confused with cortisone shots. They are much different!

Allergy shots are natural (imagine that!). The great thing about allergy shots is they’re made up of the same things you’re allergic to.

If you’re allergic to grasses and weeds the shots will contain pollen from those grasses and weeds. If you’re allergic to dogs and cats the shots will be made up of allergy-causing proteins from dogs and cats.

  • Do Allergy Shots Help With Eczema

I’ve had eczema my whole life and I can finally control it. Although most doctors will tell you eczema and allergy are different, allergies can definitely exacerbate your eczema.

I always wondered why my eczema was red and irritated.

I figured out that allergies were making my eczema worse.  During allergy season, eczema spread all over my body.

I estimate my eczema has decreased at least 50% since I started taking allergy shots. Eczema that remains is no longer red and irritated, rather, it’s just dry.

Related: Tips For Eczema Caused By Allergy

  • Do Allergy Shots Have Side Effects

Allergy shots have minimal side effects. Redness and itchiness at the injection site are common and when I experience redness it usually lasts for about 24 hours after the injection.

You might have minimal swelling where the injection as well.

I usually experience worsening of allergy symptoms for about 48 hours after the shot. This means I get a stuffy nose, my eyes might water and I experience a slight worsening of eczema.

For two days after the shot I also feel fatigue and I usually feel energized on the third day after my body bounces back.

Related: Side Effects of Allergy Shots in Adults

Your allergist will monitor your reactions after each shot and if the shots are too strong (causing strong reactions) the concentration of allergens in the shot will be reduced. There’s a fine line between a normal reaction to an allergy shot and a strong reaction.

That’s why we’re supposed to carry an Epi-Pen!

  • Do Allergy Shots Help With Dog Allergies

Absolutely, allergy shots can help with dog and cat allergies. If you have a dog and experience allergies from pet dander you should consider not having a pet.

We understand this is hard to do so you may want to consider allergy shots. With allergy shots you can cure your dog and cat allergy and keep your pet!

  • Do Allergy Shots Help With Skin Allergies

If you get hives or eczema, allergy shots might help you. I have eczema and never found relief until I began allergy shots. I tried every over-the-counter cream and lotion. I also was prescribed cortisone cream and Protopic (not even sure what synthetic ingredients it contained but it burned my skin).

The only thing that reduced my eczema is allergy shots. If you have hives or rosacea allergy shots might be able to help but talk to your allergist first!

Related: Best Supplements and Vitamins For Eczema and Allergies

  • Do Allergy Shots Have Mercury In Them

No, allergy shots contain glycerine as a preservative most commonly from animal fat and plant oil and the other ingredients are the substances you are allergic to.

I wouldn’t worry about mercury in your allergy shots but if you’re really concerned just ask your allergist. The glycerine helps keep your allergens fresh and lengthens the shelf life.

  • Do Allergy Shots Work For Dust Mite Allergies

Yep, I tested positive for severe dust mite allergy 4 years ago. I’ve been receiving allergy shots ever since and in my last allergy testing my reaction was much smaller than it was when I was initially tested.

Allergy shots have basically cured my dust mite allergies and I bet they can improve yours too.

Related: Best Mattress Cover for Dust Mite Allergies

  • Do Allergy Shots Work Immediately

Nope. In our age of short-term thinking and desire for immediate results, we want things to happen fast. Allergy shots are a time investment and long-term investment for your health.

Stay the course, think about the future and endure the inconvenience of allergy shots. You’ll feel better because of it!

There are usually two phases for allergy shots, the build-up phase and the maintenance phase. The build-up slowly increased the dose of allergy shots and this usually takes 1 year or less.

The maintenance is the same (strong) dose give over a few years. Ideally, your body realizes the allergens are harmless and stops reacting to the substances – then your allergies slowly go away!

  • Do Allergy Shots Work For Food Allergies

Allergy shots aren’t currently offered for food allergies. They are great for environmental allergens like pollen, dust, pet dander, mold, and yeasts.

Researchers are looking at ways allergy shots (or drops) could be used to treat food allergies but at this point, there are no good options. For food allergies the best treatment is avoidance!

  • Are Allergy Shots Expensive

allergy shots aren’t cheap but if you have decent insurance the cost will be minimal.  The shots themselves are affordable and insurance will cover a large percentage of them, however, the yearly check-ups and allergy testing is the expensive part.

Similarly, the doctors office visits are usually covered by insurance and your cost will depend on your deductible.

  • Are Allergy Shots for Kids or Adults

Allergy shots work well for both kids and adults.  Some people hold off on allergy shots to young kids as they hope their child will outgrow the allergies (sometimes this happens).

Teenagers are a great age to give allergy shots because the shots retrain the immune system.  Sometimes the immune system will no longer react to the substances in adulthood.

If allergies go untreated as a child, there is a chance more allergies can develop as the child matures.  In my experience, I had few allergies and minimal symptoms as a child but because I didn’t catch the allergies at a young age I developed more and more as I grew older (that’s my belief).

I ended up with terrible allergies and was reacted to so many things.  I believe if I would have caught the allergies at a young age my allergies would have been fewer with less reactions.

Allergy shots do, however, work well for older adults and seniors.  No matter your age, allergy shots are an option to consider.

  • Can My Pet Get Allergy Shots

Allergy shots and allergy drops are now offered for pets who experience dermatitis. Allergic eczema is also becoming more common in dogs and some veterinarians treat dogs for allergies.

I’m not too familiar about it but here is a link from WebMD.

  • Can I Take Allergy Shots During Pollen Season

This is an issue I encountered while taking allergy shots.  I realized that when it was allergy season (summer for pollen) my symptoms became much worse when I had my allergy shot.

I believe this was due to the allergen load in the air.  During winter, I had a smaller reaction to the same amount of extract in the shot.

You can take allergy shots during pollen season but depending on your reaction your doctor may reduce the concentration of your shots during peak allergy season.  This is what my doctor did and he increased the dosage after allergy season.

Conclusion

In this article, we presented the most common questions with dust mite allergy.  Using my knowledge and experience I answered these questions and shared my thoughts on the process, whether they hurt, and how much they cost.

I hope this clears up some of your questions and helps you make a decision about allergy shots.  They changed my life and it’s one the best things I ever did.

If you are considering allergy shots I highly recommend you visit a reputable allergist and not be test by a family doctor or dermatologist.  Allergists approach your allergies in a much different way and can provide thorough testing and treatment.

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